Durham Academy’s Madison Dunk has developed a reputation this season as a prolific passer, often times setting up younger teammates Anna West and Charlotte Easley.
But the senior standout didn’t earn the opportunity to play collegiately at Duke by not being able to put the ball in the net herself.
Dunk did a lot of that Friday, as she finished off an eight-goal performance with the game-winner in overtime to help the Cavaliers defeat rival Ravenscroft 12-11 in an evenly matched back-and-forth affair.
The overtime win was Durham Academy’s second against the Ravens in a month’s span.
After the Cavaliers pulled even with just under six minutes remaining in the second half, both teams had had opportunities to take the lead, but neither side could convert their chances.
But once overtime started, Durham Academy (11-3) didn’t waste any time. After winning the draw, Dunk’s teammates quickly got the ball to her and she went to work.
Having scored her team’s seven last goals, she wasn’t about to stop there. Positioned near the net on the left flank, Dunk froze her defender, allowing her just enough space to fire a shot past Ravenscroft (6-7) sophomore goalie Hannah Pangborn.
“I just waited to see what the defense gave me and when I saw an opening I went ahead and took it,” Dunk said.
There were many openings for Dunk to take. In the Cavaliers’ first game against Ravenscroft this season, sophomore attacker Anna West scored 10 goals. As a result, the Ravens were keying in on her much more Friday, which gave Dunk more room to work with.
Eventually, Ravenscroft began to catch on. In the build-up to her game-winning goal, Ravenscroft double-teamed Dunk, but she handled the pressure well and had all the confidence in the world at that point.
“I knew they were going to know (West) was a huge threat and I always look to feed to her and my other teammates, but I think they may have thought I was going to think to look to feed,” Dunk said. “I think being able to pass to other girls makes you a bigger threat dodging.”
It didn’t always look Durham Academy would come out victorious.
Able to slow the game down and play at a comfortable pace, Ravenscroft led by one at halftime and held a two-goal advantage on two occasions in the second half.
Much of that had to do with the play of junior Ruthanne Winston, who does a little bit of everything for the Ravens. Ravenscroft assistant coach Phil Robinson, who was filling in for coach Kerry Norman Friday, decided to start Winston as a low defender before moving her up to the midfield.
Against the Cavaliers, she scored a team-high four goals, while also performing well in the draw battle.
“That was a dominant player on this field today,” Robinson said of Winston. “She won a lot of draws here for us, she’s one of our emotional leaders and she’s a terrific player – an underrated player, I think.”
But down the stretch, Durham Academy was able to tighten up defensively and use its transition game to its advantage. That, along with Dunk’s heroics, proved to be enough.
“I’m proud of my girls,” Durham Academy coach Debbie Rebosa said. “They pulled it off today.”