Pairings Set For NCHSAA Women's Soccer Championships

PAIRINGS SET FOR NCHSAA STATE WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS AT WAKEMED SOCCER PARK

RALEIGH — Four North Carolina High School Athletic Association women's state soccer championships will be decided this weekend in the 26th annual NCHSAA finals at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Two games are set for Friday, with the 2-A and 4-A classes playing their championships, with the 1-A and 3-A slated for Saturday. This will be the fifth year for a separate 1-A championship since the number of schools playing the sport increased to the threshold for having a separate championship.

All four of the games will be televised by Time Warner Cable and available on Carolina on Demand, digital channels 199 or 1047 on Time Warner systems across the state, within a couple of days after the championships.

Friday’s action will start with the 5 p.m. game for the 2-A title between Carrboro (17-2-3) and Cuthbertson (25-2).

Carrboro's Jaguars knocked off Swansboro, the two-time defending 2-A champions, by a 3-0 count on Wednesday night to qualify for the state final.  The Jaguars are led by Kylie Tawney, the Carolina 10 Conference Player of the Year, and Rachel Horton, who was selected as the Carolina 10 Goalkeeper of the Year

Cuthbertson, in just its second year of existence, defeated perennial playoff contender East Bend Forbush 4-1 on Wednesday night to qualify for the finals. The Cavaliers are led by Leah Drawdy, the Rocky River Conference Player of the Year with a whopping 57 goals this season. Both 3-A finalists have been hot at the right time, with Carrboro unbeaten in its last 19 contests and Cuthbertson winners of 14 in a row.

Then the 4-A game will kick off at 8 p.m., pitting unbeaten Charlotte Ardrey Kell (25-0) against a strong Raleigh Leesville Road team (23-1-1). Ardrey Kell had to go to penalty kicks to defeat Hough in the regional finals.

Kell has six players who will continue their playing careers in college and the Vikings are led by Lisa Doberstein, the team's leading scorer who is headed to Clemson. Seniors Rachel Hunter, Steph Bronson and Sarah Floyd lead a veteran Leesville Road team. Over the past four years Leesville has an amazing record of 95-5-4 with four conference regular season crowns and two state 4-A championships, in 2008 and '09.

The 1-A championship opens Saturday's schedule at 10:30 a.m., as Southwest Onslow (11-8-3) makes its second consecutive appearance in an NCHSAA women's soccer final, taking on the Cougars of Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, in their first state final of any sort.

Southwest, the defending 1-A champion, got off to a slow start with no wins and three ties in its first 10 games, but the Stallions played a brutal schedule with their opponents notching an outstanding .672 winning percentage. Forwards Jamie Berti and Jeseca Hinds lead the Stallions.

CATA is enjoying its best year ever with a school record 19 victories and did not allow a goal during a 600-minute stretch during the regular season.

The final game Saturday is set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff for the 3-A championship and sends a couple of perennial powers against one another as Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (20-0-1) takes on Charlotte Catholic (21-2-3).

Gibbons is in its third women's soccer final, with a 1-0 loss to Waxhaw Marvin Ridge in last year's championship. Catholic will be in the finals for the sixth time, with a 2-3 mark in previous title games.

Gibbons wins with defense, having allowed only five goals all season long, and Christina Gibbons is the Crusaders' top goal scorer with 13. Catholic's Jane Cline has 22 goals and 11 assists to top the Cougars.

The Raleigh Sports Consortium serves as the primary host city partner for the women's soccer championship, along with the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. Wendy’s is the presenting sponsor for the NCHSAA sports program.

NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

26th ANNUAL WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS

WAKEMED SOCCER PARK, CARY

FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2011

Class AA: Carrboro (17-2-3) vs. Waxhaw Cuthbertson (25-2), 5 pm

Class AAAA: Raleigh Leesville Road (23-1-1) vs. Charlotte Ardrey Kell (25-0), 8 pm

SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2011

Class A: Southwest Onslow (11-8-3) vs. Monroe Central Academy of Technology and Arts (19-4-1), 10:30 am

Class AAA: Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (20-0-1) vs. Charlotte Catholic (21-2-3), 1:30 pm

NCHSAA FastFacts

Event: NCHSAA Women's Soccer Championships

Date: May 27-28, 2011

Site: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary

Game Times: 7: 5 pm and 8 pm on Friday; 10:30 am and 1:30 pm on Saturday

Admission: $8 at gate (parking $5)

First Held: 1986

Qualifiers: Eastern and Western champions meet for state titles; 64 schools qualified for playoffs in 3-A and 4-A classifications, 48 in 2-A and 32 in 1-A

Defending champions: North Mecklenburg (4-A), Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (3-A), Swansboro (2-A); Southwest Onslow (1-A)

Host City Sponsors: Raleigh Sports Consortium, Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau

Of Interest: Raleigh Broughton with 13 and Greensboro Grimsley with 12 have the most appearances in the NCHSAA women’s soccer championships, and no other schools have more than six.