CARY – Jennifer Partenheimer’s spectacular goal in the second 10-minute overtime lifted Apex to a 2-1 decision over Weddington in the 22nd annual North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s women’s 4-A soccer championship at SAS Soccer Park on Friday night.
Partenheimer’s rocket off a free kick from about 30 yards out into the upper corner of the goal proved to be the difference as the Cougars finished a 26-0-2 season and ended the year on a 12-match winning streak. Weddington closed its most successful year in school history with a 21-5-1 mark.
Senior midfielder Partenheimer, the Tri-Eight Conference Player of the Year and a UNC-Greensboro signee, was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
After a scoreless first half, Weddington got on the board with a goal by freshman Ashley Aragona, the Warriors’ leading goal-scorer who notched her 20th of the season. But less than five minutes later Apex evened the count on a goal by Amy Dodd and the regulation 80 minutes ended at 1-1.
The Weddington goal was the only shot by the Warriors after intermission. Apex attempted seven shots in the second half alone but could not break through.
Weddington, which finished third in the Southwestern 4-A Conference but got hot in the playoffs, was in its first NCHSAA women’s soccer championship while Apex made its second visit after finishing as 4-A runner-up in 2002.
Apex entered the game ranked first in the country in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll.
1 2 OT OT
Apex 0 1 0 1 -- 2
Weddington 0 1 0 0 -- 1
50:25 W – Ashley Aragona
55:07 A – Amy Dodd
90:50 A—Jennifer Partenheimer