Saturday, May 30, 2009

White Oak's 4th straight title dredges up old memories

The N.C. High School Athletic Association crowned four champions in girls soccer Saturday.

Raleigh Leesville Road got past Charlotte Ardrey Kell in a shootout following a scoreless match in the 4-A title game.

In the 1-A final, Polk County made it past Raleigh Charter when Anna Trakas scored the only goal of the match in the last three minutes.

Swansboro won its second 2-A crown in four years when Lindsay Redfearn put in a golden goal in the first five-minute sudden-death overtime against Forbush, which has lost two straight years in the finals. Both teams played in The Brittany V in March.

Finally, seniors Stephanie Rose, a forward, and goalkeeper Rea Segoviano helped Jacksonville White Oak down Kings Mountain 5-0. The Vikings finished 22-0 and won their fourth straight 3-A championship.

Followers of Fike's girls soccer teams might remember those two names. Four years ago, Rose had two goals in White Oak's 3-2 defeat of Fike in the third round of the state playoffs. Segoviano replaced senior Ashley Bailey in goal and shut out the Golden Demons in the second half, making several great saves among the seven she totaled.

That Fike team featured Sarah Winslow, Barksdale Thompson, Erin Menzel, Dillon Sauls and Sarah Sallenger, among others. The Demons led twice at White Oak that night four years ago and had several chances to tie the game in the second half. Instead the Vikings escaped and went on to win four straight state crowns.

It's been a great run for head coach Buddy Carroll and the Vikings but I can't help but think how close Fike was that warm May night in Jacksonville four years ago. Maybe if Winslow had gotten to the ball a split-second before Bailey (who was injured but made the save). Maybe if the game was in Wilson, on Fike's field and not the White Oak football field, the Demons would have fared better.

But four years later, White Oak has built a dynasty and Fike is still searching for that elusive state title, or even a state championship appearance. I've got to believe that some day the Demons will break through and maybe, just maybe, White Oak will be the victim. After losing in the playoffs for five straight years to White Oak, the Demons deserve some karma.

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