Cary Academy upset Charlotte Latin 2-0 on Friday and will play Providence Day in the final of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 3A girls’ soccer championship on Saturday at Forsyth Country Day School about 10 miles west of Winston-Salem. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m.
First-half goals from senior Rebecca Kenney and freshman Brooke Harris held up for Cary Academy. Sophomore goalkeeper Aiden Lefebvre and a tenacious defense kept Latin off the score sheet.
Both semifinals featured Triangle area schools against teams from Charlotte. In the first match, Providence Day beat Durham Academy 1-0 in overtime.
It was closer this time but that didn’t provide any joy for Durham Academy coach Sue Ellis’ Cavaliers, who lost 1-0 in overtime to the defending state champions from Providence Day.
In a semifinal repeat from last season, No. 4 seed Durham Academy played the top-seeded Chargers to a draw over the first 80 minutes of regulation.
“All we could do was organize defensively and fight till the end,” Ellis said. “They certainly had the run of play but we had some chances.”
Senior Tara Nagar anchored a Cavaliers unit that wasn’t going to bow against the title holders.
“She’s our engine, she’s our passion, she’s our heart,” said Ellis of her midfield captain.
At the end, only the goal by freshman Carson Jones with 2:21 left in the first of two 10-minute overtime periods made the difference. Jones scored from close in on the right after a flurry of Providence Day shots in the penalty area were blocked but not cleared. Lauren Lucas was credited with the assist.
“It was a case of who’s going to get that one,” Providence Day coach Dan Dudley said. “We found a way to get it.”
The first half was played primarily in the middle of the field with the Chargers squandering the better of the chances presented. Providence Day outshot Durham 12-6 for the game with most of that coming from Lucas and Caroline Smith.
“We created the best opportunities but we couldn’t convert,” Dudley said.
Durham’s senior goalkeeper Dana Williams, perhaps the tallest player on the pitch, did the rest, coming off her line to snuff out opportunities or just doing whatever she could to thwart the Providence Day attack.
Providence Day (15-0-3) goes into Saturday’s final unbeaten in 30 straight matches, their last loss to Hoggard in Wilmington in March of last year. Durham ends the season at 13-2-1.
It will be the second meeting this year between Providence Day and Cary Academy as the defending champs took the first matchup in late February 2-1.