Corinth Holders had gone where no Johnston County girls soccer team had gone before. This kind of heartache, mixed with pride, was something entirely new for one of its programs.
Corinth Holders fell 1-0 to Weddington in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A girls soccer state championship game at N.C. State on Saturday. The Pirates (19-5-1) gave the Warriors (22-2) all they could handle, but Weddington prevailed to repeat as champions.
“We’re holding our heads real high, because it’s a huge accomplishment to get to this point,” Alison Vetterl said. “They’re just a really, really special group.”
Weddington’s lone goal came in the 28th minute, as Morgan Macia weaved through four Pirates defenders and slotted one into the net. It was the only time Weddington could unlock a back line that had not given up a postseason goal.
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Weddington couldn’t get one by freshman goalkeeper Alyssa Walawender, who made a few one-on-one, point-blank stops to keep the Pirates in it.
She was one of several Corinth Holders players, as well as one of quite a few freshmen, who didn’t seem to be rattled by the newfound big stage.
The Pirates’ best chance came in the second half as 5-foot freshman Anu Kane, who is committed to USC, fought to win the ball away from 6-3 defender Remi Roberts. Kane skipped a pass by a diving goalkeeper to teammate Lexi Chase – who had the game-winner in the fourth round – but her shot was blocked by a defender and the rebound attempt pushed wide.
“We just knew we had to keep the pressure on, we did it more so in the second half,” Vetterl said. “They played their hearts out, and that’s all I can ask for. They’ve been wonderful.”