Midtown: Sports

Ravenscroft defeats Charlotte Country Day for girls lacrosse title

With nearly 15 minutes left to play in the 2012 N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association girls lacrosse championship on Saturday, Ravenscroft senior Caroline Margolis knew what she had to do to secure the Ravens’ first-ever lacrosse title.

Margolis had been fouled by Charlotte Country Day’s Hanna Krueger with Ravenscroft nursing a three-goal lead, and as she faced Buccaneer goalkeeper Nelle Kester, the Ravens’ captain went against her pass-first instincts and simply attacked.

Margolis scored her third and final goal on that play, and the Ravens (20-2) never looked back as they finished the game on an 8-1 run and cruised to a convincing 16-6 victory over Country Day, the two-time defending lacrosse champions.

“That was a momentum shifter,” said Margolis, who will play for Boston College next year. “Me and Melissa (Funsten) are in our fourth year as starters and to win the title just means so much.”

Margolis led Ravenscroft with five assists, and said avenging this year’s 18-16 loss to the Buccaneers and also their championship game defeat when she was a sophomore added to the specialness of the win.

For Ravens head coach Kerry Norman, the victory marked her first title with the Ravens in four tries (two as head coach of the field hockey team).

“I guess the fourth time is the charm,” Norman said. “We’ve come close so many times that to finally finish it just puts the cap on a fantastic season.”

Norman started the lacrosse program four years ago, and Margolis, Funsten and defender Caroline Hirl have been with her since the program’s inception.

“We really came together as a team this year, and today we just fought so hard on the 50/50 balls,” said Funsten, who won the majority of draws that jump-started the Ravens’ offense. Funsten, who will play field hockey at Davidson College in the fall, also scored three times.

A pair of freshmen led Ravenscroft in the scoring column Saturday. Preston Cooper scored five goals and Olivia Aschman added four. Sophomore Rachel Hianik also found the net for the winners. Ravens goalie Danielle Given posted seven saves.

“Our hearts were absolutely in it today and this time we were gunning for them,” Cooper said.

The Ravens went on a 7-0 run to take an 8-3 lead into intermission. The Buccaneers scored the first two goals of the second half, and then it was all Ravenscroft from then on.

“We were prepared and knew what to expect from them,” Norman said. “The kids followed our game plan. I’m so proud of them.”

Savannah Jane Story, Margolis, Funsten and Hianik made the NCISAA All-State team.