Freshman Alexa Wojnovich scored four goals and junior Elizabeth Cato had four assists – three of which were to Wojnovich as Carrboro trounced Kill Devil Hills’ First Flight High 5-0 and clinched a second consecutive trip to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A girls soccer championship.
“In one of the first practices, we really connected in a small game and it shows on the field,” Cato said.
Wojnovich added: “It’s not just on the field, but at school we see each other so we have that chemistry no matter what.”
After a lackluster first 25 minutes to open the game, First Flight learned that when it rains in Carrboro, it pours.
Wojnovich scored on back-to-back set piece deliveries from Elizabeth – the first off a long free kick and the second from a corner – in the 27th and 29th minute to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
“We’ve been working on (set pieces) and we executed tonight,” Carrboro coach Jared Drexler said. “Practice paid off.”
Facing a two-goal deficit, the Nighthawks began to amp up the pressure, recording four shots in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
First Flight’s momentum carried over into the second stanza, taking two shots on goal in the opening two minutes and four shots in total before Carrboro got its first in the 59th minute.
“I was not worried about it,” Carrboro goalkeeper Grace Nanney said. “I knew they were getting shots on but I had complete faith in us. As a teenager, it’s easy to get your head out of the game a little, but had complete faith we’d get composed.”
In the 60th minute, Carrboro’s offense came back to life, again scoring two goals in a two-minute span as Evie Joseph chipped home a corner kick delivery and Wojnovich found space and finessed a one-on-one ball into the bottom right corner in the 66th minute.
The game wouldn’t be complete without another Cato-to-Wojnovich connection, and the duo’s curtain call game in the 76th minute when Wojnovich headed home another Cato cross to extend the lead to 5-0.
Being only a freshman, Wojnovich says she couldn’t have entered a better situation than she has at Carrboro.
“It’s crazy. It’s unbelievable, everyone is so welcoming and it’s a big family, basically,” she said.
Despite flashes of brilliance and the the blowout on the scoreboard, Drexler says his team will need the next three days to improve before a showdown with either Forbush or Central Academy.
“We were not at our best tonight. We were fortunate to score from some set pieces,” he said. “You know that a sign of a good team is getting a good result when you’re not at your best. I told them we made a lot of mistakes tonight, but we have a couple of days to fix them.”
Nanney notched six saves to record her 17th clean sheet of the season.
“It’s incredible. Being able to stand back there and trust those girls is incredible,” Nanney said. “I have complete faith in them.
The Jaguars will face the team it defeated in last year’s 2A title, Forbush, in Saturday’s championship game at N.C. State (time TBA).