RALEIGH – First Flight fell behind early, conceding a goal in the 8thminute to Lake Norman Charter’s Ayden Yates, but the Nighthawks stormed back, scoring six goals in the final 46 minutes of the game to claim the program’s second state championship in women’s soccer with a 6-1 victory.
The Nighthawks dominated possession, with the lone Knights goal coming on a counter attack that saw Olivia Haraldsson spring Yates with a beautiful pass into the left side of the box. Yates worked around the keeper and poked it in to make it 1-0 in the 8th minute. It was all First Flight from there.
The Nighthawks equalized in the 34th minute as Nicole York curled one in the right side of the net off of a crisp pass from Ashley Forbes. York added another goal and a pair of assists to start the second half. She hit Casey Bouker twice in the box in the 42nd minute, both times Bouker found the back of the net, extending the lead to 3-1. York pushed the lead to 4-1 with an unassisted goal in the 46th minute as she was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Bouker tacked on a third goal in the 48th minute. The unassisted goal for Bouker was her third on the day, completing a hat trick and giving the Nighthawks a 5-1 lead. Sophie Morgan capped off the scoring in the 58th minute when she was assisted by Camden Crook to make it 6-1. First Flight outshot Lake Norman Charter 19-10, with a 15-2 edge in shots on goal.
Lake Norman Charter finished the year 22-1-1. The Knights were 14-0 in the South Fork 2A Conference where they were the champions. Lake Norman Charter won the Western Regional Finals for the second time in school history, returning to the state finals for the first time since they made the 1A Final in 2013.
First Flight ended the year 25-2-1 and were the champions of the Northeastern Coastal 2A where they finished 8-0. The Nighthawks won the Eastern Regional Finals for the second time in school history, claiming the school’s second state championship. First Flight’s first title came in 2008 when they defeated Forbush 2-1 in the 2A final.