Beyond the usual sentiments associated with “senior nights” for athletic teams, Chapel Hill’s 2015 girls lacrosse players had another good reason to celebrate after finishing their last home game at Culton-Peerman Stadium. Their 19-4 victory over Carrboro made them the winningest team in program history.
Chapel Hill will head into the N.C. High School Athletics Association playoffs this week with an overall record of 11-3. Even if the Tigers were to lose in their first tournament game, they’d still tie last year’s 11-6 team for the most wins in a season and top it for win-percentage – 73.3 percent, compared to 64.7 percent.
“It was a little sad at the same time, but this was a great way to end the season,” said defender Helen Gaynes, one of eight seniors on the Chapel Hill roster along with Callie Riek, Claire Heine, Gussie Hollers, Morgan Alderman, Robin O’Luanaigh, Paige Childers, Taylor Headen and Louisa Fine.
Highlight reel: Carrboro’s Lyn Nelson scored twice in 50 seconds to make it a one-goal game at halftime.
The turning point: Up just 5-4 heading into the second half, Chapel Hill got three goals in the half’s first 55 seconds – from Paige Haskins, Riek and Childers. Carrboro never recovered.
The coaches’ take: “We didn’t start off exactly the way we wanted,” Chapel Hill coach Dan Segal said. “I think we were caught up in the emotions of senior night. But we regrouped and said ‘We’re not going out like this,’ and we played much better.”
“We had one goal when this started: make the state playoffs,” Carrboro coach Mason Cox said. “I think we’ve done that, and we’re looking forward to it. This team has improved throughout the year – greatly.”
Up next:Carrboro (4-9) got all of its wins in conference games, and its 4-6 league record was good enough to earn it a spot in the NCHSAA playoffs. The Jaguars are likely to draw one of four Raleigh-area teams as a first-round opponent: Broughton, Green Hope, Middle Creek or Millbrook. (See nchsaa.org for the latest news on playoff brackets.)
As its conference’s No. 2 seed, Chapel Hill will get a first-round bye and is likely to play undefeated Raleigh Wakefield (16-0) in a second-round matchup on May 8.