ECH stops Carrboro in 2OT for 6th straight field hockey title
Maddie Futch scored off a penalty corner with 5.6 seconds left in the second overtime Saturday to lift East Chapel Hill to its sixth consecutive N.C. Field Hockey Association state title.
The Wildcats beat area rival Carrboro, a team making its first appearance in a state final in the sport, 2-1. The win was East’s second in three tries against the Jaguars, all the games decided in overtime. Carrboro won at East, East won at Carrboro and East carried the day at Forsyth Country Day School, home of the two-date state final four.
“It’s amazing. I can’t explain the feeling,” East coach Susan Taylor said. “It’s more amazing every year we win it. It just keeps getting better.”
East's field hockey body of work now includes 10 state titles overall.
First-year Carrboro coach Morgan Cloutier admitted to a letdown as she watched Futch’s goal cross the line for the win in “sudden-victory” as the field hockey coaches call it.
But she called the Jaguars’ overall season a “fantastic” one and pointed out that her team had competed head-to-head against the best the state has to offer and gave East all it could handle.
East got on the board first Saturday, star Marissa Creatore scoring off an assist from Farrell Guest in the 12th minute of the 30-minute first half. The game remained tied until Kirstin Macleod broke through for Carrboro with 9:30 left.
From there it was a battle of goalies, with East star Grace Haley shutting the door on Carrboro until Futch’s goal in the final 7-on-7 overtime period — overtimes in the sport are played with four fewer players per side than regulation — that ended it.
Futch scored on the second of two straight penalty corners for the ’Cats.
“You give them that many (penalty corners) and one’s bound to go in,” Cloutier said.
Taylor said East has had a reputation over the years of not being particularly strong offensively on penalty corners but that this year’s team had turned all that around and it was particularly satisfying to win on just such a goal. She added that Haley’s presence in goal made it all possible.
“Grace Haley had an amazing two days,” Taylor said. “We don’t win it without her.”
NOTES — Charlotte Catholic beat Chapel Hill 3-2 in the consolation finals Saturday to finish third in the state. Charlotte Catholic and Chapel Hill lost in Friday’s semifinals to East Chapel Hill and Carrboro, respectively.