East Chapel Hill 18, Green Hope 12

East Chapel Hill girls defeat Green Hope, advance to lacrosse state title game

mblake@newsobserver.comMay 14, 2013 

— If there’s a team in the state that can stop East Chapel Hill and star attacker Sydney Holman, it’s not on the eastern side of the state.

The host Wildcats defeated defending state champion Green Hope 18-12 Tuesday in the N.C. East regional final and will be play in their sixth state championship game Saturday, going for their fourth title.

Holman had 13 goals in the game to give her 123 on the year, breaking the state record of 116 that was set last season. The record-tying goal came with 6 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first half and the record-setter came 21 seconds later.

“It’s the most amazing feeling,” said Holman, who was unaware she had broken the NCHSAA record. “It’s taken four years to get to this point and it’s all paying off. I can’t wait for Saturday.”

East Chapel Hill coach Michelle Michaels says Holman is the total package.“Her (lacrosse) IQ is just remarkable. That, on top of the physical part of the game, makes her a really hard kid to stop. Even if they triple team her, she knows what to do,” Michaels said.

The last title-game appearance for East Chapel Hill was 2007, before the N.C. High School Athletic Association sanctioned the sport. The Wildcats won the 2002, 2003 and 2004 state titles.

Green Hope’s (17-2) only losses this season came to East Chapel Hill (15-2), which won the teams’ first meeting 16-14 in overtime.

East Chapel Hill was regularly beaten on draws early in the first half, but rallied to even that margin at 10 apiece by halftime.

The Falcons scored on nine of their 10 first-half shots, but in the second half East Chapel Hill started to disrupt possessions.

“Our assistant coach had a great halftime speech and got them pumped up, got the sidelines pumped up,” Michaels said.

Green Hope ended the game with a 18-14 edge in the draws, but it typically has a larger advantage thanks to Katherine Smith and Maggie Auslander.

“I thought they were faster on the wings than us, coming in to help,” Green Hope coach Joe Nassif said.

East Chapel Hill will play Charlotte Catholic, which beat Lake Norman 23-16 in the West regional final, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary.

Charlotte Catholic defeated East Chapel Hill 13-10 in the Wildcats’ second game of the season, holding Holman to three goals.

“We’ve grown a lot since then,” Holman said. “Since it was in the very beginning of the season and we had a game the night before, we weren’t as prepared as we are now. We’ve been working so hard all season and I think our stick skills weren’t as great as they are now.”

Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps

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