South Carolina girls rally for tie in Clash of the Carolinas
We all know about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But what about ties?
Northwestern High School’s Lauren Watts scored in stoppage time Saturday to give the South Carolina girls a 3-3 tie against North Carolina in the seventh annual Clash of The Carolinas at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. Watts said the draw was something to be proud of considering her team rallied from a 2-0 deficit.
“The South Carolina girls haven’t won in four years,” Watts said. “Just to get a tie shows we can still compete with them.”
There is no overtime in the all-star game and that might be a good thing considering the heat, humidity and rain. Both coaches substituted liberally to make sure their players were hydrated and refreshed.
South Carolina’s rally was complete when Watts hammered home a cross from Woodruff’s Megan Robertson to forge the tie.
“I just saw the ball coming across,” Watts said. “I saw the keeper dive for it, and I sprinted through and got it in the net.”
North Carolina opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Christina Gibbons of Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh knocked in a shot after a wild flurry in the box and a save by goalkeeper Lauren Killian of Blythewood High.
Gibbons, the Tar Heel’s MVP, scored again as she intercepted a goal kick just outside the top of the 18 in the 32nd minute and fired it past Killian to give the Tar Heels a 2-0.
The Sandlappers scored on an impressive pass from Chelsea Drennan of T.L. Hanna to Faith Lifer of Hilton Head less than a minute after the Tar Heels’ second goal.
The Tar Heels regained their two-goal advantage as Gibbons set up Kendall Fischlein of Lake Norman with a cross and Fischlein headed in the net to make it 3-1.
South Carolina didn’t give up. Robertson, the Sandlappers’ MVP, scored on an assist from Kaleigh Kurtz to cut the lead to 3-2 in the 72nd minute.
The Tar Heels now lead the series 5-1-1.
North Carolina posted a 2-0 victory in the boys’ game.
Gary O’Neill from Eugene Ashley High School in Wilmington scored in the 65th minute to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead. He was named his team’s MVP.
O’Neill scored on a direct kick from 25 yards that went through the hands of South Carolina keeper Michael Ulmer of South Aiken.
Aaron Sparks of Jacksonville High made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal in the 78th minute.
Graham Jermstead of Dutch Fork was the South Carolina MVP.
North Carolina leads the boys’ series 3-1-3.