For the first time in history, a team from Charlotte has captured the North Carolina Field Hockey Association state championship.
Myers Park’s Mustangs (18-1) put on a masterful display of offense facing in their 5-0 victory at Forsyth Country Day School on Saturday, Nov. 5, dominating possession and shot count through both halves against the State runner-up Chapel Hill Tigers (17-2).
The Mustangs, who were the No. 2 seed in the tournament, were paced offensively by sophomore midfielder Megan Frost.
Frost filled up the stat sheet with a goal and three assists, but her biggest impact was felt in transition and the midfield. Chapel Hill simply had no answer to Frost’s speed and stick skills, and with her ability to receive the ball in midfield and take on multiple defenders on the dribble, Myers park was able to consistently maintain possession in and around the Chapel Hill circle.
“Our leader on the team has been Megan Frost,” Myers Park head coach Erica Adcock said after the game. “She’s been a standout for us all season long.”
Myers Park kicked off the scoring just 10 minutes into the first half, when freshman midfielder Kate Hinshaw found an opening amongst the scrum of the penalty corner to tap the ball into the right side of the net to make it 1-0 Mustangs. With 11 minutes remaining in the half, the Mustangs struck again, this time from junior Shields Norvell. Norvell benefitted from an assist from Frost, and Myers Park entered halftime with a 2-0 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Frost, who didn’t play in last year’s championship game for Myers Park vs. perennial contender East Chapel Hill, reflected on the championship season.
“It feels great to come back and win. It would have been awesome to have played East Chapel Hill, because that’s who we lost to last year, but Chapel Hill beat East Chapel Hill and it was just amazing. It’s an amazing feeling. Last year I didn’t really realize the importance of a state Championship, but this year, it means so much.”
Two quick goals in succession for Myers Park from Frost and junior Madeline Williams to open the second half put the game out of reach for the Tigers, who were unable to get consistent separation from the Mustang midfield. A final goal from Hinshaw with 20 minutes left in the second half capped off the scoring for Mustangs.
Chapel Hill had a number of scattered chances throughout the game, and as their semifinal victory over East proved, they didn’t stop fighting until the final whistle.
“Chapel Hill was probably the best team we played all year,” Frost said. “Their press and a few of their players are insanely good. That game could have easily been turned around, but we really just wanted it.”
Despite their struggles maintaining possession in the final third of the field, the Tigers never let Myers Park get totally comfortable on offense. Senior captain and defender Lundy Fine served as the emotional leader of the Tigers all season, and her leadership showed in the biggest game of the year.
“She’s an amazing defender,” Chapel Hill head coach Anna Long said. “You could see her scrapping out there at the end trying to make something happen. She’s one that’s made so many saves for us and stopped attacks before they happen that sometimes she flies under the radar, but she’s just awesome and she’s been a great leader for us, day in and day out.”
The loss stung for the Tigers, but Long was as proud of her squad as she was from day one of preseason.
“They were a tough team,” Long said. “They played fast, they played hard, and it was tough for us to defend. I’m just really proud of my girls. We’ve had a great season and I told them not to let this result take away from that. Winning second place is huge, we’ve had a great season and we have a lot of really great seniors who have really stepped up big for us, and I’m really proud of them.”