RALEIGH — The showdown for the Conference 3 girls’ lacrosse championship was everything it was supposed to be Friday night at Wakefield.
Broughton turned to Kelsey Dupere for the winning goal and the senior center midfielder delivered with a shot just past Wolverines goalie Jessica Lynch with 12 seconds left to lift the Caps to a 13-12 win.
Broughton (15-2) ends its regular season with a 13-1 league mark, having lost to Wakefield 17-15 earlier in the season. Wakefield is 13-2 overall and 12-1 in the league with a game against Wake Forest on Monday. A win would force a coin flip to determine the league’s top seed in the state playoffs, which begin Wednesday. Both teams likely will draw first-round byes into Friday’s second round.
“All of our games with Wakefield are like this,” said Broughton assistant coach Jennifer Yoder, who was filling in for head coach Patricia Alexander, who was sick. “This year we’ve got a really good group of talented girls who work together so well. We knew we could win the conference this year.”
Wakefield jumped out to a 5-2 lead.
“We know that lead wouldn’t last; there would be runs both ways,” said Wakefield coach Denna Grasso, whose team played without top defender co-captain Darian Natividad. “These are two very good, very equal teams, and a tipped shot can be the difference.”
Wakefield, which got three goals from Haley Cissel, led 6-5 at halftime. Cissel had an assist to Claudia Damiano for a goal and a 12-11 Wolverines lead with 2 minutes, 21 seconds left.
Broughton bounced back with a tying goal by Sara Joyner with 1:44 left and the Caps took a timeout with 1:22 to play after they got the ball back.
“On that last play there was no doubt, absolutely none, what we wanted to do,” Yoder said. “We wanted to stall, and take the last shot with either Kelsey or Sydney Fry. Kelsey said she wanted it and it worked out.”
Dupere, who scored seven goals and had two assists in the game, will play at Elon next year.
“I just kind of winged it,” Dupere said of the last play. “I just have to get in there near the goals and just see what happens.”
Yoder pointed to the play of her midfield of Dupere, Fry, Farrell Guest, and Hattie Warner as a big key to the win.
Grasso saw positives for her team in the loss.
“Jessica had some great saves in goal and kept us in the game,” Grasso said. “She’s just a sophomore, it’s good to have her back two more years.
“A game like this has to help us going into the playoffs. It shows where our strengths are, we had to keep up the intensity, and it’s good for our defense to see good shots like that,” Grasso said.