There’s something musical about a girl named Abby Rhodes scoring a come-from-behind winning goal to complete an unbeaten girls soccer season with a state championship.
At least that’s what you would hear from any Beatles fan, which includes the Raleigh Charter senior midfielder.
Rhodes scored on a textbook header off a corner kick from senior Grace Nipp to lift the Phoenix to a 2-1 win over Kernersville Bishop McGuinness on Saturday night in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A championship. The 5-foot-9 senior, standing out among the defenders at the right side of the net, converted with 16 minutes to play at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Field.
“That was a nice corner kick – I owe a lot to Grace,” Rhodes said. “I made my run to the far post. Grace knows that’s where I am. She found me and I finished it.”
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Nipp, a senior forward, was named the MVP.
East Region champion Raleigh Charter finished at 20-0-1. The Phoenix opened the year settling for a 3-3 double-overtime tie on March 13 against Wake Forest Franklin Academy, but Raleigh Charter beat Franklin 1-0 three weeks later and 1-0 in the third round of the playoffs.
West champion Bishop McGinness, which started the year 3-5-1, was seeking its eighth straight victory while finishing with a 17-8-1 record.
Bishop McGuinness took a 1-0 led three minutes into the second half when freshman Mary Kate Walsh scored by knocking in a rebound of her own shot that was blocked but not controlled by Raleigh Charter goalie Lily Koning.
Raleigh Charter, with fewer scoring opportunities, finally broke through in the 54th minute for a 1-1- tie. Junior Rachel Erickson took an assist from sophomore Hana Chabinsky, scoring from the middle of the top of the box.
Bishop McGuinness applied more pressure throughout the match, particularly in the first half. The Villains squandered an early scoring opportunity when Caroline Rose found herself in a breakaway in front of the Charter defense. However, she failed to get off a one-on-one shot on Koning.
Phoenix junior defender Rasheca Logendran recovered in time to catch Valentine from behind in front of the box and knock away the ball. She made up about three to yards with her sprinter’s speed.
“I saw her dribbling and said, ‘Oh, my God, I need to run,’ ” Logendren said. “I was just lucky enough to catch up and get the ball.”
McGuinness missed an opportunity midway through the first half when Koning successfully deflected a shot. The ball was free in front of the net, but Chabinsky got to it first to clear it.