High School Sports

NCHSAA Soccer Preview: Providence hunts 4A state title

dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

RALEIGH -- Providence will make its fourth visit to the N.C. High School Athletic Association girls soccer 4A championship Saturday, led by a stingy defense.

Providence allowed just four goals in the regular season while scoring 105. Six Panthers have committed to play collegiate soccer, including seniors Ellie Deaver (Charlotte), Michaela Daniels (Eastern Kentucky) and Lizzie Wilson (Queens).

Providence reached the finals after beating Lake Norman 4-3 on penalty kicks Tuesday night after the teams played 80 minutes of regulation plus four overtime periods with no score. Providence has won seven straight games.

The Panthers will face Panther Creek in the 4A final Saturday at 11:05 a.m. It will be the first of four state championship games played at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Field. Game times are set for 11:05 am, 2:05 pm, 5:05 pm and 8:05 pm. This will be the ninth year for a separate 1A championship since the number of schools playing the sport increased to the threshold for having a separate championship.

All four of the games will be televised by Time Warner Cable on TWC special events channel 323 and the stream is available on line at www.news14.com. Then they will be available on Carolina on Demand on Time Warner systems across the state, within a couple of days after the championships.

Cary’s Panther Creek (19-0-2) makes its second straight trip to the finals. It lost to Hough last season.

Panther Creek advanced past Wilmington Hoggard 2-1in the regional on Tuesday night. Justine James has 13 goals for the Catamounts and Emma Socca has scored 12. The Catamounts have been outstanding defensively, allowing just four goals during the regular season and is outscoring the opposition now, including playoffs, by a total of 55-6.

The second game with a 2:05 p.m. start is for the 2-A championship, as Carrboro (20-0-1) battles East Bend Forbush (21-3-1).

Carrboro has had 10 games stopped by the nine-goal mercy rule during the season, but has won three tight 1-0 matches in the playoffs. Most amazingly, the Jaguars have allowed only one goal—one—all season long, on March 10 in a 1-1 tie against nearby rival Chapel Hill. Natasha Turner’s 24 goals leads the Jaguars on offense.

Forbush has shut out 18 opponents and has won 21 of its last 22. Junior midfielder Madison York paces the Falcon attack with 21 goals and 17 assists, but four other Falcons have scored 10 or more, giving Forbush lots of dimensions as it attacks.

The Falcons are in the final for the fourth time but are still looking for their first NCHSAA state women’s soccer title.

The Saturday 5:05 p.m. game is for the 3-A championship, with perennial contender Swansboro (25-2) taking on Asheville A.C. Reynolds (23-4).

Swansboro enters the 3A championship match for the first time after winning four state titles at the 2-A level, most recently in 2013. Kimmi Moore was the Coastal Conference Player of the Year and leads the Lady Pirates with 36 goals.

A.C. Reynolds, in the finals for the first time, is led by senior captain Megan McCallister, the school’s all-time leading goal scorer and a three-time all state selection.

The 1A game will kick off at 8:05 pm and sends the Phoenix of Raleigh Charter (19-0-1) against the Villians of Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (17-7-1).

Raleigh Charter is in the finals for the fourth time, with a state title in 2007 against this same Bishop McGuinness program. The Phoenix are led by all-state players Grace Nipp and Abby Rhodes, with Nipp having tallied 45 goals on the season.

Bishop, which played its entire 10-game non-conference schedule against higher classification teams, has a tremendously well balanced attack with four players having scored 20 or more goals, led by freshman Mary Kate Walsh. She tallied the game winner in the regional final with 19 seconds to go and her 28 goals is a new school single-season record.

NCHSAA GIRLS SOCCER STATE FINAL CENTRAL

Date: Saturday

Site: Dail Soccer Field at N.C. State, Raleigh

THE SCHEDULE: SATURDAY, MAY 30

Class 4A Championship, 11:05 a.m.

Panther Creek (19-0-2) vs. Providence (23-1-1)

Class 2A Championship, 2:05 p.m.

Carrboro (20-0-1) vs. Forbush (21-3-1)

Class 3A Championship, 5:05 p.m.

Swansboro (25-2) vs. A.C. Reynolds (23-4)

Class 1A Championship, 8:05 p.m.

Raleigh Charter (19-0-1) vs. Bishop McGuinness (17-7-1)

NCHSAA FastFacts

Event: NCHSAA Women's Soccer Championships

Date: May 30, 2015

Admission: $8 at gate

First Held: 1986

Qualifiers: Eastern and Western champions meet for state titles; 64 schools qualified for playoffs in 2-A, 3-A and 4-A classifications, and 59 in 1-A

Last year’s champions: 1A: Community School of Davidson; 2A: West Stokes; 3A: Chapel Hill; 4A: Hough

Of Interest: Raleigh Broughton with 13 and Greensboro Grimsley with 12 have the most appearances in the NCHSAA women’s soccer championships.

  Comments