CARY – Sophomore attack player Kieran Rinaldi scored two goals in overtime as Lake Norman edged Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 17-15 in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's sixth annual state women's lacrosse championship Saturday afternoon at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The game was knotted at 13-13 with 2:15 to play as Lake Norman moved the ball around and ran the clock down, and Rinaldi scored with 18 seconds to go to put the Lady Wildcats up 14-13. But Gibbons countered with an amazing goal by Erica Skowron just before the final horn to send the game into overtime.
Two three-minute overtimes ensued, with Lake Norman forging a 16-15 lead in the first stanza on goals by Carly Vaccaro and Rinaldi, and then Rinaldi’s final goal with 1:42 to go in the second OT period put the Lady Wildcats ahead by the final margin.
No more than two goals separated the teams throughout the first half, which ended in a 5-5 deadlock. Lake Norman opened up a 9-6 lead early in the second half before the Crusaders came back.
Vaccaro finished the day with six goals to end the season with a whopping 87. Rinaldi tallied five times and Julianna Dworschak had three goals.
Jordan Lappin of Gibbons was chosen the Most Valuable Player of the championship with six goals and two assists to end the season with 90 goals. Skowron tallied four times for the Crusaders and Sarah Comstock had three.
Lake Norman outshot Gibbons 36-17 and had a commanding 22-11 edge in draw controls.
Both teams have been in the playoffs in each of the six years the NCHSAA has had a women’s championship. Lake Norman won its first NCHSAA state title in the sport and finished the season with an 18-2 record. Gibbons, in its first women’s final, wound up 19-2 overall.
The women’s lacrosse state championships are currently conducted as an "open" tournament, with all classifications competing for a single crown.
NCHSAA STATE WOMEN'S LACROSSE CHAMPIONSHIP
WAKEMED SOCCER PARK, CARY
1 2 OT OT F
Cardinal Gibbons 5 9 1 0 — 15
Lake Norman 5 9 2 1 — 17