Hattie Warner wasn’t ready for her lacrosse season to end.
When Broughton needed the will to pull away from a challenging Chapel Hill team in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs Tuesday, Warner provided it.
She scored seven goals in Broughton’s 16-12 win over the visitors, advancing to play Cap-8 Conference mate Wakefield. Wakefield defeated New Bern, 13-12, on the road.
Warner was one of three Capitals (13-2) with two goals at the end of the first half and erupted for five in the next, accounting for points up until the final seconds. With 34.6 left, Warner found her teammate Farrell Guest for one last back-breaking goal.
“I think it was our patience on attack that was really big in this game,” said Warner, a senior midfielder who entered the game averaging three goals a match. “We weren’t forcing passes. We were waiting on things to open up before we drove or before we made passes.”
Chapel Hill (13-4) struck early to gain a 2-0 lead. Sophomore attacker Shannon Wulff found the back of the net with 15:47 left before halftime, forcing a Broughton timeout.
Whatever coach Jen Yoder told her Caps during it, it must have worked, as Guest, Broughton’s leading scorer, put her team on the board moments after the timeout. With the lead teetered by only a goal or two in the first half, Broughton’s defense smothered Wulff, who finished four points (two goals, two assists).
Broughton returned from intermission re-energized, another Warner goal coming 32 seconds into the half.
“We knew that we needed to keep possession,” Yoder said, “so not forcing passes. I think that was key for us, and just not wasting shots. I think the first half, especially since we were down to start, we felt like we needed to get a goal.”
Broughton fired 11 shots in the game.
Anneka Pace’s interception led to a formidable 12-8 Broughton lead that grew in the second half. Dominating possession, Warner scored again through traffic. The Caps also relied on their last line of defense on the few opportunities they allowed Chapel Hill in the second half.
Broughton junior goalie Carson Harvey posted 12 saves but couldn’t stop Chapel Hill senior Paige Haskins on three straight goals down the stretch. Haskins finished with five, winning two straight draws in the last three minutes.
“She’s a great player,” Harvey said of Haskins. “Chapel Hill has a great attack. They definitely pushed it a lot. I kind of had to go where the ball was. Sometimes, I couldn’t get there in time. (Down the stretch), there was a lot of pressure, but of course my defense was great. We have a great defense and a great team overall. All of us working together is a way for us to stop those balls coming in.”
Anna Crabill added three goals for Chapel Hill and goalie Olivia Rice (14-4) recorded 10 saves.
The Tigers team seemed in high spirits after the season-ending loss. Their coach Dan Segal had a hunch as to why.
“The first time we played these guys, I feel like we were outworked a little bit, so that was a big emphasis,” he said. “This time we wanted to make sure we gave it everything we got, and I feel like we did and I feel like our kids did.”
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan