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RALEIGH -- Four North Carolina High School Athletic Association women's state soccer championships will be decided this weekend in the 24th annual NCHSAA finals at Paul Derr Stadium on the campus of North Carolina State University.
Four games will played on Saturday, starting with the 3-A title match at 10 a.m., followed in order by 1-A, 2-A and 4-A finals. This will be the third 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 channel 1234 on Time Warner systems across the state, within a couple of days after the championships.
Saturday’s action will start with the 10 a.m. game for the 3-A title between three-time defending champion Jacksonville White Oak (21-0) and Kings Mountain (24-1).
Led by five goals by Stephanie Rose, White Oak rolled past Western Guilford 8-0 in the East Regional in its ninth consecutive appearance in a regional final. The Lady Vikings, who have outscored their opposition 30-0 in the playoffs, are 4-1 in previous state championship appearances.
Kings Mountain is in its 11th all-time postseason trip but will make its first visit to the championship match. Junior striker Ramey Kerns leads the team with 29 goals and has 12 assists while Meagan Reynolds has recorded 25 goals and a team-high 28 assists.
The 1-A championship is set for 1 p.m., as Raleigh Charter will take on Polk County. Both have made previous appearances in the finals recently; Polk is back for the second consecutive year after losing to Dixon in last year’s championship while Raleigh Charter won the ’07 title over Bishop McGuinness.
Raleigh Charter advanced to the state finals with a dramatic overtime victory over Hampstead Topsail in the East Regional final. Kaitlin Franks with 19 goals paces Polk while goalkeeper Jazmine Bridgeman has recorded nine shutouts and has a 1.08 goals-against average for the Lady Wolverines.
The third game Saturday is set for a 4 p.m. kickoff for the 2-A championship, sending Swansboro (22-1-3) against East Bend Forbush (21-3-1). Swansboro, which got past Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 1-0 on Wednesday night in the East Regional final, makes its third trip to the finals and last won it in 2006. Forbush is in the final for the second consecutive year, finishing as runners-up last year to Kill Devil Hills First Flight.
Forbush is led by team captains Jessica Baity, Krystle Matthews and Leticia Patino. Baity has knocked in 38 goals this season.
The final game of the quadruple header is the one that doesn’t yet have the matchup finalized. Defending state champion Raleigh Leesville Road (22-0-3) has already qualified for the 4-A championship match and will play either Charlotte Ardrey Kell (20-0-1) or Matthews David Butler (15-4-2), pending the outcome of their Thursday night regional final, which was postponed by inclement weather Wednesday.
Leesville beat Ardrey Kell 3-0 in the 2008 final and features a young team which starts only two seniors. The Pride has not allowed a goal in its last seven games, including the five playoff contests.
This will be the 15th year in a row that the event has been held in the Raleigh area. 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
24th ANNUAL WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
PAUL DERR STADIUM, N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009
Class AAA: Jacksonville White Oak (21-0) vs. Kings Mountain (24-1), 10 am
Class A: Raleigh Charter (15-6-1) vs. Polk County (19-6), 1 pm
Class AA: Swansboro (22-1-3) vs. East Bend Forbush (21-3-1), 4 pm
Class AAAA: Raleigh Leesville Road (22-0-3) vs. Charlotte Ardrey Kell (20-0-1) or Matthews David Butler (15-4-2), 7 pm
Event: NCHSAA Women's Soccer Championships
Date: Saturday, May 30, 2009
Site: Paul Derr Stadium, N.C. State University
Game Times: 7: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 7 pm on Saturday
Admission: $8 at gate
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: Leesville Road (4-A), Jacksonville White Oak (3-A), Kill Devil Hills First Flight (2-A); Dixon (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.