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One year ago against Charlotte Catholic, the St. Stephens soccer team tasted the agony of defeat.
This year, the Lady Indians have quenched their appetite for victory.
Macy Franklinâ€™s header goal on a corner kick from Susan Bare helped Saint defeat Charlotte Catholic, 1-0, to advance to Saturdayâ€™s 3A state title game.
â€śThatâ€™s just hard work right there,â€ť said Indians coach Chuck Davis, who will be coaching in his first state title game on Saturday. â€śThey say good luck is a bi-product of hard work, and they proved it today.â€ť
Bare twice had a chance to help give her team the lead on a pair of corner kicks.
After going scoreless in the first half, Bareâ€™s first corner kick â€” the first of the game for the Indians â€” came 10 minutes into the second half.
Bare found Caroline Holmes in front of the net on a perfect kick, but Holmesâ€™ header just glanced off of the top of the cross bar.
â€śI always look for Macy or Caroline,â€ť said Bare of her mindset on each corner kick. â€śThey mostly finish. I just wanted to make it count because I know we didnâ€™t get any corners in the first half.â€ť
With 23 minutes to go in Tuesdayâ€™s 3A West title game, Bare would have a second chance to Bareâ€™s kick sailed over Holmesâ€™ head, but found Franklin, who headed in the ball past goalkeeper Kaylie Lindsey.
Franklin has now scored 12 of Saintâ€™s 24 goals this postseason.
â€śI knew it was going in. You just know on some of them,â€ť said Franklin of her header. â€śAs soon as she kicked it, I knew I had it. The corner kick before that, it was a perfect ball to Caroline. When I saw it was going over Caroline, I knew it was going to hit my head perfectly. I looked at the back post and knew it had to go in. It was perfect. I couldnâ€™t have asked for a better ball.â€ť
Amanda Hall, who gave up an own goal in last yearâ€™s 1-0 road loss to Charlotte Catholic, shut down Jane Cline, the Lady Cougars best offensive player.
â€śShe was so fast,â€ť Hall said of Cline. â€śIt was a very panicky feeling because they were on our side. They kept hammering us. We were running all over the place.â€ť
Cline, who came into Tuesdayâ€™s game with 75 goals on the season, was held scoreless.
â€śTo shut down a player who had 75 goals on the season, that girl (Hall) needs some kind of an award,â€ť Davis said. â€śThat was an amazing performance. She didnâ€™t do it alone. Hayley covered and Susan covered well. Amanda just frustrated that girl to death.â€ť
Hall and Huffman also prevented Cline from scoring with under 30 seconds left to help seal the Lady Indians victory.
Catholic outshot Saint 15-5 in Tuesdayâ€™s game.
â€śI give it to them,â€ť Huffman said. â€śThey were pounding it in the end. They wanted it.â€ť
The Lady Indians (21-3-2) meet Cardinal Gibbons (21-2-1) at 11 a.m. in Saturdayâ€™s 3A final.
Cardinal Gibbons advanced with a 4-1 victory against White Oak in the 3A East championship game on Tuesday.
â€śI donâ€™t know anything about them,â€ť Davis said of Cardinal Gibbons. â€śIâ€™ll have to talk some people. Iâ€™ll probably call the White Oak coach or anyone theyâ€™ve played to see what they can tell me about Gibbons. Iâ€™m just excited we are going. Thereâ€™s nothing else I can say.â€ťView more articles in: