CARY –Kate Powell scored four goals and Emma Jette netted three to lead Charlotte Catholic to a thrilling 10-9 decision over Apex in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's fourth annual state women's lacrosse championship Saturday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Senior midfielder Jette scored in the first 36 seconds of the first half to tie the game for Catholic and had a tally with 3:50 to play to give her Cougars a 10-8 advantage. Mia Castagnero countered for Apex just 22 seconds later to make it 10-9, but Apex had a penalty and competed a player down for almost the entire final two minutes.
Castagnero finished with five goals and two assists for Apex, giving her 74 goals for the year, and was chosen the Most Valuable Player of the championship.
Natalie Wallon had two goals for Catholic, finishing the year with a whopping 120 goals, athough the Syracuse recruit was really held in check most of the day.
Apex held a slim 6-5 lead at halftime, as Castagnero and Meredith Chapman each scored twice for Apex. Powell, a sophomore, had two Catholic goals in the opening half. No more than two goals ever separated the two teams in the game.
Catholic continued its goalie rotation, with Annie Brannon getting seven saves in the first half and Michelle Holmes collecting five in the second half.
Catholic finished the year with a 23-1 record while and a 16-game winning streak, while Apex wound up 17-2 and had a 13-game winning streak snapped.
Both teams have been in the playoffs in each of the five years the NCHSAA has had a women’s championship. Catholic was in the finals for the fourth time and the third consecutive year, with a previous championship in 2010. Apex won the title in ’11.
The women’s lacrosse state championships are currently conducted as an "open" tournament, with all classifications competing for a single crown.
On Friday night these same two schools met in the men’s 4-A championship, with Catholic earning the title with an 11-8 victory.
NCHSAA STATE WOMEN'S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
WAKEMED SOCCER PARK, CARY
Charlotte Catholic 6 4 –10
Apex 5 4 –9