GREENSBORO, NC – The Cox Mill Chargers dominated possession and managed to sneak one goal through to defeat Chapel Hill 1-0 in the 3A Women’s Soccer State Championship at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School. The Chargers collected the school’s first Women’s Soccer State Championship with the victory.
Cox Mill was on the front foot early, pinning their ears back to press and attack high up the field. Their early pressure paid off when Julianne Patterson slotted a perfect pass through the Tiger defense to the feet of Emily Mooney just outside the penalty area. Mooney took a few dribbles and unleashed a rocket past the keeper off her right foot to put the Chargers in front in the 7’.
The story of the game was Cox Mill’s defensive back four. They seemed an impenetrable wall, limiting the Tigers to just four shots in the game. The best chance for Chapel Hill came in the closing minutes of the contest when Sofia Canoutas-Nadel found herself with time and space about 35 yards from goal and unleashed a rocket that Jillian Ginn had to handle. Otherwise, the Tigers only managed four total shots and one other shot on goal.
The Chargers' dominant defensive performance could be attributed to a total team effort, but senior Jesse Dunn was outstanding at left center back. She regularly thwarted Chapel Hill challenges, shutting down most any activity on the right side of the Chapel Hill attack. She also made a strong run off a steal, sprinting about 60 yards in possession before finding Emily Bertanzeti in the box with about 12 minutes to play. Bertanzeti was not able to put the shot on target, but Dunn’s dangerous run demonstrated her total play-making ability and helped her win a selection as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Chapel Hill concluded the season 17-2-0. The Tigers were 7-0 in the Big 8 3A Conference, winning the league title. Chapel Hill won the program’s third Regional Championship, appearing in the State Championship for the first time since 2018.
Cox Mill was 18-0-1 on the year. The Chargers powered their way to a 12-0 mark on the way to a South Piedmont 3A crown. Cox Mill won the program’s second Western Regional Championship and claimed their first state title.
The NCHSAA is committed to recognizing and promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to highlight individuals from each State Championship event who exemplify the ideals of outstanding sportsmanship. The 2021 3A Women’s Soccer Sportsmanship Award recipients were Cecilia Calhoun from Chapel Hill and Michaela Fisher from Cox Mill who were recognized prior to the opening game.