Giving up its first goal of the year to a 2A opponent mattered nothing Saturday to Carrboro, just as long as the Jaguars scored one more. And they did.
Miah Araba rocketed a shot from 30 yards out with 6:07 left in a second overtime Saturday to lift the undefeated Jaguars to a 2-1 victory over East Bend Forbush and to get Carrboro its second N.C. High School Athletics Association 2A state soccer championship in four years.
The win, the Jaguars’ second overtime victory of the 2A playoffs, earned Carrboro (21-0-1) an NCHSAA record for fewest goals allowed in season (2). Forbush (21-4-1), winners of 21 of 22 games prior to Saturday, was the first team to score on the Jaguars since defending state 3A champion Chapel Hill tied Carrboro 1-1 on April 10.
“At the end of the day, all that sort of stuff looks awesome,” second-year Carrboro head coach Jared Drexler said. “But I don’t care. If we had won 5-4 I’d be just as happy.”
Araba, earning Most Valuable Player honors in the championship game, curled a corner kick toward sophomore Kiara Hallows 4:58 into the first overtime, which the 5-feet-2 Hallows headed in from just outside the six-yard box over the fingertips of Forbush goalkeeper Jessica Funk for a 1-0 Carrboro lead.
Forbush hadn't given up a goal during the run of play since a 7-1 win April 6 at South Stokes.
“All I could do was try to get the ball as high as I could,” Hallows said after scoring for the second time in two playoff games. “Their goalie is so tall, I just wanted to get as much on the ball as I could.”
Forbush answered 78 seconds later off their seventh corner kick of the game. Nancy Rios started the play by kicking a short corner to Madison York, who fed the ball back to Rios. Moving higher for a better angle, Rios sent the ball into a crowd of players at the six-yard-box and Shannon Holder one-timed a shot low to the near post for a 1-1 tie with 3:44 left in the first OT.
“I was a little frustrated by that,” said Carrboro goalkeeper Benedikte Turner, who finished the game with a single save. “We got excited after our score and let down a little bit, but I knew we’d come back from that.”
“Yeah, I knew we’d get it back,” Araba said. “That’s the thing about our team: we never give up.
Before Saturday, Carrboro had outscored its opponents 124-1. Ten of its wins were 9-0 victories truncated by the state’s mercy rule. But, once in the playoffs, three of the Jaguars wins were by 1-0 margins, including a 1-0 overtime game against Croatan. Forbush likewise had shut out 18 opponents.
Araba’s goal came on Carrboro’s only offensive chance of the second overtime. Leah Simon started the play with a run into the corner and then centered a ball into a crowd at the six. The ball popped 12 yards outside the top of the penalty area to Araba, who cranked up a shot that zipped past Funk’s outstretched fingertips.
“That was deflating,” Forbush coach Kenan James said. “Certainly, that was not the sort of goal I was expecting to beat us – from that far out. A fantastic shot.”