Eight North Carolina high school teams survived rain, lightning and weather delays as four NCHSAA girls soccer state championships were settled at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Stadium. It was a memorable experience for all to kick off Memorial Day Weekend.

First Flight Wins Second State Title

First Flight fell behind early, conceding a goal in the 8thminute to Lake Norman Charter’s Ayden Yates, but the Nighthawks stormed back, scoring six goals in the final 46 minutes of the 2-A championship game to claim the program’s second state championship in women’s soccer with a 6-1 victory.

The Nighthawks dominated possession, with the lone Knights goal coming on a counter attack that saw Olivia Haraldsson spring Yates with a beautiful pass into the left side of the box. Yates worked around the keeper and poked it in to make it 1-0 in the 8th minute. It was all First Flight from there.

The Nighthawks equalized in the 34th minute as Nicole York curled one in the right side of the net off of a crisp pass from Ashley Forbes. York added another goal and a pair of assists to start the second half. She hit Casey Bouker twice in the box in the 42nd minute, both times Bouker found the back of the net, extending the lead to 3-1. York pushed the lead to 4-1 with an unassisted goal in the 46th minute as she was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Bouker tacked on a third goal in the 48th minute. The unassisted goal for Bouker was her third on the day, completing a hat trick and giving the Nighthawks a 5-1 lead. Sophie Morgan capped off the scoring in the 58th minute when she was assisted by Camden Crook to make it 6-1. First Flight outshot Lake Norman Charter 19-10, with a 15-2 edge in shots on goal.

Lake Norman Charter finished the year 22-1-1. The Knights were 14-0 in the South Fork 2A Conference where they were the champions. Lake Norman Charter won the Western Regional Finals for the second time in school history, returning to the state finals for the first time since they made the 1A Final in 2013.

First Flight ended the year 25-2-1 and were the champions of the Northeastern Coastal 2A where they finished 8-0. The Nighthawks won the Eastern Regional Finals for the second time in school history, claiming the school’s second state championship. First Flight’s first title came in 2008 when they defeated Forbush 2-1 in the 2A final.

UA Cardinals Score Early, Often

Union Academy scored three goals in six minutes of the first half to jump on top of the defending 1A Champion Franklin Academy 3-0 on their way to a 6-1 victory and their first women’s soccer state championship. The Cardinals tacked on three more goals in the second half to stretch their advantage and cruise to the win.

Caleigh MacKinnon struck not once, but twice, in the 15thminute to put the Cardinals up 2-0. The first goal was assisted by Kelsey Havican and the second by Sarah Brown. MacKinnon struck again to open the scoring in the second half, this goal unassisted, completing her hat trick. MacKinnon was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Kelsey Havican had the other three goals for the Cardinals. She scored unassisted in the 21stminute to make it 3-0. Her other two goals came in the 63rdminute and 77thminute respectively. Her second goal was assisted by Samantha Panek and third goal unassisted.

The lone goal for Franklin Academy came in the 25thminute and breathed life into the Patriot attack, closing the deficit to 3-1. Franklin Acadmey did not draw many more opportunities as Union Academy outshot the Patriots 17-5 on the day with a 12-3 advantage in shots on target.

Franklin Academy finished the season 24-2, they were the champions of the North Central 1A Conference. The Patriots made their third-straight state championship appearance after winning the Eastern Regional for the third time in a row.

Union Academy finished the season 23-1-1, dominating the PAC 7 1A as the league champions. The Cardinals won the Western Regional for the first time in program history, claiming the school’s first state championship in women’s soccer.

Fuquay-Varina Edges Myers Park 

In the NCHSAA 4-A state title match, the Fuquay-Varina Bengals absorbed Myers Park pressure most of the day, particularly in the first half, before an attempted clearance clanged off Kaitlyn Laux and into the Mustang net, putting Fuquay-Varina up 1-0 in the 42nd minute. The Bengals did not look back on their way to the first state championship victory in women’s soccer program history.

Myers Park outshot Fuquay-Varina 8-4, that advantage a 5-1 advantage in the scoreless first half, but the Mustangs failed to get a goal past the tough Bengal back line and goalkeeper Kristen Davis. Davis made four saves on the afternoon, and the Bengal back four turned away or thwarted numerous Mustang attacking forays into the box.

Amaya Gill anchored the defensive unit for Fuquay-Varina as the junior defender checked the speedy and skillful Ariana Maibodi most of the day. Gill booted countless clearances and broke up the momentum on several attacks, helping Davis to not face more than one or two dangerous chances for Myers Park. Gill was named the game’s Most Valuable Player for her role in the Bengals win and clean sheet.

Myers Park finished the season 21-1-1. They were the champions of the Southwestern 4A Conference and won the NCHSAA 4A Western Regional Championship for the first time in school history. The Mustangs made the school’s first appearance in an NCHSAA Women’s Soccer State Championship Game.

Fuquay-Varina wrapped up the year 18-4-2, while they were 8-1-1 and champions of the South Wake 4A Conference. The Bengals won the NCHSAA Eastern Regional for the first time since winning the 3A Regional Finals in 1999. The win over Myers Park gave the Bengals their first state championship in women’s soccer program history.

Chapel Hill Upsets Cox Mill

The Chapel Hill Tigers entered the state championship game for the second time in school history having given up only two goals all season. That number did not increase as the Tigers kept a clean sheet in the state finals on their way to the program’s second state 3-A championship in a 1-0 win over Cox Mill.

Chapel Hill pushed forward in the 16th minute earning a corner kick. Isabel Leinenweber came forward from her defensive wing position to take the corner and dropped a beautiful out-swinging ball into the box that found the head of Maddie Reiter. Reiter deflected the ball off her head on frame and past the Charger keeper for the lone score of the night to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead and victory.

Cox Mill generated three excellent chances to equalize, one saved by Audrey Calhoun, another, a free kick from 35-yards out, that clanged off the crossbar and out. The Tigers stood firm, allowing only 6 shots on the evening.

Cox Mill finished the season 19-3-2 with a perfect 10-0 record in the South Piedmont 3A Conference where they were the champions. The Chargers made their first state championship appearance after winning the Western Regional Finals for the first time in school history.

(Game Reports From NCHSAA.org)

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