High School Sports

Alcenia Purnell’s game-winner lifts Heritage girls’ soccer over Broughton in overtime

Michaella Artela (5), from Heritage High celebrates after her teammate Alcenia Purnell (23) scored in overtime. The game was played at Broughton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Heritage won in OT 1-0.
Michaella Artela (5), from Heritage High celebrates after her teammate Alcenia Purnell (23) scored in overtime. The game was played at Broughton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Heritage won in OT 1-0. newsobserver.com

Goals were hard to come by for Heritage and Broughton in Wednesday night’s girls’ soccer match. Almost impossible.

After 80 minutes of scoreless soccer and just over four minutes of overtime play between the two Cap-8 Conference teams, Heritage finally found the net when freshman Alcenia Purnell scored on a corner kick served by Christiana Filippini.

The 1-0 Heritage victory left the Huskies (11-5-2, 8-4-1 Cap-8) alone in third place in the conference with one league game remaining, and the top three teams are guaranteed playoff spots.

“It was a grind-it-out kind of play,” Heritage coach Scott Sloan said of the game-winner. “It wasn’t a clean header. It’s not something you are going to see on SportsCenter. It was Alcenia just running through it with her body, Alcenia having the will to score and having a nose for the goal.

“She’s probably not going to chalk it up to the most beautiful goal. But probably right now in her career it’s the most important goal she’s ever scored.”

It was Senior Night for Broughton (4-10-2, 3-7-1) and the Caps honored 11 seniors at halftime.

“Broughton controlled the flow of the game, there’s no doubt about it,” Sloan said. “It was their Senior Night. They played hard, they came out and they competed. They were fabulous tonight.

“But to be fair, our goal keeper (Sara McInnerney) was just a little better. She did a fantastic job tonight. I am very proud of her.”

The Caps had opportunities. They hit the crossbar several times on near misses and had several more shots go just wide.

“You feel like one of them was going to bounce in the right direction,” Broughton coach David Parker said. “But we couldn’t get one to go in. I feel bad for our girls. We played hard. This was one of the better games they have played this year.

“I hate it for the seniors, their last home game and they just couldn’t get the win.”

It was a special group of seniors, Parker said.

“Effort the whole game,” he said. “No quit, no give up. That’s all you can ask. They are just great young ladies. If somebody said give me 11 seniors for a team, that would be them.”

Turning point

The game’s only goal. Purnell emerged from a scrum in front of the goal on a corner kick and got the ball on her body and into the goal.

They said it

“This game was big for a lot of reasons,” Heritage coach Sloan said. “We’re a young team. They are a veteran team with 11 seniors. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that see a lot of minutes. To not only beat Broughton, this is our second victory over them this season.

“From a standings perspective, it puts us solely in third place in the conference with one game to go against Wakefield.”

Three to know

Sara McInnerney, Heritage: The senior keeper was outstanding, putting together a shutout on a night when the Caps had the emotion of Senior Night and kept coming for the entire game.

Alcenia Purnell, Heritage: The freshman scored the game’s lone goal, getting her body on a corner kick in overtime and pushing it into the net.

Emma Willard, Broughton: The speedy senior got behind the Huskies defense on several occasions only to run into McInnerney. But Willard never quit, running to the last second of her last home game.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments