HOLLY SPRINGS — With all the bad weather in the Triangle recently – including bone-chilling temperatures Wednesday night – Holly Springs coach Brian Miller was simply happy with getting on the field against Northern Durham.
The score may have been secondary, but he was happy with that, too, as the Golden Hawks blitzed the Knights 6-1.
“We haven’t had much training,” Miller said. “We’ve been on a training field maybe one or two days. It’s slow, but steady. We’ve at least had a few non-conference games this year to work on some things. We’re getting better every training.”
Rebekah Favero had two goals and an assist, Dominique Babbitt a goal and three assists, with Kirsten Bootes, Kelly Forbis and Megan Howard each getting a goal. The Hawks (2-0-1) led 4-1 at halftime after controlling play for almost all of the first 40 minutes.
After Babbitt’s second goal, Miller substituted liberally, allowing his starters to get warm and his reserves to get playing time.
“It’s cold, but you’ve got to play through it,” Babbitt said. “Conditions can’t really be a factor.”
The game-time temperature was 42 degrees but quickly dropped into the 30s.
“The cold part doesn’t bother us,” Miller said. “We wanted to play and get better and work on some things that we needed to improve on. We hit those topics and keys and weren’t worried about the score. Whatever it is, we just wanted to get better and get ready for (the Southwest Wake) conference.”
Miller said his team needed to work on possession, switching the point of attack, getting players to the goal and finishing scoring chances. Holly Springs had nearly a dozen scoring chances in the first 25 minutes before Babbitt’s long free kick got in the net.
“With the help of Bekah,” Babbitt said of Favero. “I think she got a touch on it.”
Favero’s night was capped by a prom invitation, courtesy of five shirtless Holly Springs students atop the press box who spelled “P-R-O-M-?” on their chests after the game. A Hawks player yelled, “She said yes!”
Northern (0-2) has probably had its fill of Holly Springs, as the Knights were eliminated from the 4A playoffs a year ago by the Hawks. But Northern coach Michael Tetreault doesn’t mind the tough competition for his team, which played without starting midfielder Caroline Odgaard, who was out with an illness.
“We’ve got to close the (score) down a little bit, but they’re one of the good programs in the state,” Tetreault said. “They’re certainly trending up, and (playing them) gives us a good benchmark early in the season.”
Babbitt, a South Carolina recruit, has been a big part of the improvement of Holly Springs, which hopes to build on a second-round playoff appearance a year ago.
“I think there’s no limit to us,” Babbitt said. “We’re really excited about the year. We’re having a good start, and I’m excited about the season.”