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NORTH MECK OUTLASTS HOGGARD IN PENALTY KICKS FOR NCHSAA STATE 4-A WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
RALEIGH -- It went down to a second round of penalty kicks, and Lisa Myers tallied on the eighth PK as North Mecklenburg outlasted Wilmington Hoggard 2-1 in a battle of Viking teams Saturday night in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A women's soccer championship game at the Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Soccer Stadium on the campus of North Carolina State University.
The teams battled through 110 minutes of grueling play, including the regulation 80, two 10-minute overtime periods and two five-minute sudden-victory periods. Both teams converted four of five in the first set of penalty kicks, with North sophomore keeper Emily Rusk and Hoggard freshman keeper Sarah Downing unable to keep the shooters at bay.
Then in the round of sudden-death in the shootout, both teams converted their first two attempts. Rusk came up with a save on the eighth attempt, this one by Blythe Rhodes of Hoggard, and then Myers pushed her attempt past Downing to end the marathon.
Rusk was voted the Most Valuable Player of the championship. She had six saves prior to the shootout, including keeping the game 1-1 early in extra time with a tremendous diving save, one of several great chances Hoggard had in the two 10-minute overtimes.
Sophomore midfielder Alison Stearns had opened the scoring in the 11th minute when her goal put North Mecklenburg in front 1-0. Then with less than 19 minutes left to play in regulation, Hoggard senior midfielder Madyson Marshburn headed in the equalizer after a long free kick from near midfield.
North had a 7-4 edge in shots on goal in regulation, but Hoggard took the advantage in the overtimes so each team finished with 10 shots on goal.
North Meck completed a 21-3-2 season in earning its first NCHSAA women's soccer title. Hoggard, also in the finals for the first time, wound up 25-1 after winning its last two playoff games 1-0 in overtime.
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
STATE 4-A WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
Curtis and Jacqueline Dail Soccer Stadium. N.C. State University
North Mecklenburg 1 0 0 0 0 0 0-- 1
Wilmington Hoggard 0 1 0 0 0 0 1-- 2*
*Hoggard wins 7-6 in penalty kicks
11th minute NM-- Alison Stearns (Erin McAnulty)
62nd minute H-- Madyson Marshburn (Morgan Tilley)