1A girls soccer championship: Lake Norman Charter 6, Raleigh Charter 3

Raleigh Charter falls in 2nd overtime

cgrant@newsobserver.comMay 25, 2013 

— Raleigh Charter’s first overtime game of the year came in its last. The Phoenix held tough for the first few minutes of overtime, but went into the second overtime period one goal down and gave up two more to fall 6-3 to Lake Norman Charter in the NCHSAA 1A girls soccer championship Saturday at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Field.

"They kept playing strong and they kept pushing the tempo, and then they rode that wave once they scored that first overtime goal," Raleigh Charter coach Steve Grosso said of Lake Norman’s barrage of goals in extra time.

Lake Norman scored fewer than two minutes into the first 10-minute overtime period, but Raleigh Charter tied it again less than 30 seconds later on a penalty kick by senior defender Rachel Hammond.

From then on, it was all Lake Norman Charter. The Knights scored the go-ahead goal with just under five minutes to play in the first overtime and found a burst of energy after more than 85 minutes of play.

Lake Norman scored again in the 96th minute and sealed the deal with just over a minute to play in the second overtime.

"They didn’t want to let it up for someone else to grab," said Lake Norman coach Justin Valenti. "The capability was there all season and the whole game today, but unfortunately we waited until the last 10 minutes to show it all."

The first half featured a dizzying array of possession changes, and several balls scooted in front of the goal, but neither team could find the back of the net.

Lake Norman Charter found the goal first when the Knights’ leading scorer, forward Riley Kane, fired a shot past Phoenix goalkeeper Lily Koning.

The Phoenix responded within seconds, with leading scorer Alexa Dreyer getting Raleigh Charter on the board.

Raleigh Charter pressed the tempo, eventually scoring in transition when sophomore midfielder Grace Nipp slotted the ball over to Dreyer, who drew Lake Norman Keeper Carolyn Huddy before finding senior Ilana Green in front of the net for the go-ahead goal.

Lake Norman, which had shut out all of its playoff opponents entering into Saturday’s contest, played from behind until sophomore forward Erin Iknayan fired the tying shot in the 73rd minute to knot the game at 2 goals apiece and send it to overtime.

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