Same teams. Same place. Same result.
Carrboro claimed its second straight NCHSAA girls soccer 2A state championship Saturday at N.C. State’s Dail Field, its third overall, with another one-goal win in overtime against previously undefeated Forbush.
Carrboro ninth-grader Alex Wojnovich found the back of the net with 3 minutes, 21 seconds left in the first overtime to provide the game-winner – her 36th goal this year – in the Jaguars’ 1-0 victory Saturday.
In the game’s 87th minute, Carrboro’s Elizabeth Cato launched a corner kick into the penalty area, where Natasha Turner got a head on the ball; rushing into the six-yard-box, Wojnovich volleyed Turner’s header past Falcon goalkeeper Calyn Davis.
“I managed to get a foot on it, and I finally put it in,” Wojnovich said shortly after collecting her MVP trophy for the game. “I was crying tears of joy out there at the end.”
Last year, it was then-sophomore Miah Araba who supplied the game-winner in a one-goal, two-overtime victory over Forbush.
“We were looking out for her, and we knew that (Wojnovich) was really good, too,” James said.
Carrboro won the 2015 game against Forbush, 2-1, for a second championship since 2012. The Jaguars were 34-6 in NCHSAA tournament games after claiming their third championship Saturday.
“This is a different season with a different group of girls, a different team,” Carrboro coach Jared Drexler said. “We even played a slightly different style this year. Winning is the same. It’s all good.”
Forbush (27-1-1) had outscored opponents 133-8 before Saturday. Carrboro allowed only two goals last season, a NCHSAA defensive record, scored 102 goals and gave up only five this season, only two to a single 2A team.
Carrboro (21-1-2) won its only other overtime game this season, coming from behind to defeat Clinton 5-2 in double overtime in the fourth round of the 2A playoffs. Carrboro followed that with a 5-0 win against Kill Devil Hills’ First Flight High to earn a spot in the finals for the third time in six years.
The Falcons were denied a championship for the fifth time in five state finals since 2008. Three of those losses came after overtimes – twice in a row to Carrboro.
“It’s like someone kicked my puppy,” Forbush head coach Kenan James said. “We worked so hard all season to get here.”
Unlike last year’s final, played under a broiling sun, Saturday’s game Started with temperatures in the high 70s and humidity at 50 percent – as good as could be expected for May in the Carolinas.
The Jaguars outshot Forbush 11-1 before ending regulation 0-0. None of the Falcons’ shots were on frame, and Carrboro keeper Grace Nanney never had to leave her feet to get a ball.
“We just couldn’t connect enough passes to create good scoring chances,” James said. “That was the difference in the game.”
Carrboro won most of the 50-50 balls all day and created a flurry of opportunities before Wojnovich’s goal. Barely 90 seconds into overtime, Cato bounced a ball off the top of the cross-bar, and 30 seconds after, that Katie Knotek arched a long ball into the center of the box, but it was just beyond the foot of the onrushing Cato. Turner chipped a shot that Davis scooped up.
Forbush played two overtime contests this year prior to Saturday, tying West Stokes 1-1 and beating South Stokes 4-1 in regular-season conference games. But the Falcons had breezed through the playoffs, winning their five games before Saturday by a cumulative 25-2 margin.
“Carrboro is just better than any other team we played,” James said. “They may be the best team in the state – at any level, period.”