DAVIDSON – Davidson Day is a girls soccer dynasty.
The Patriots won their third straight state championship with a 4-2 victory against Caldwell Academy in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A final May 18 in Asheville. Davidson Day (19-3) repeated as the 2A champion, after winning the 1A title in 2011.
“We were fighting some nerves,” Patriots coach Chad Metzler said. “But the girls were confident because they’d been there before. We started a little shaky but as the game went on, we fell into a groove.”
Davidson Day jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first half, but Caldwell Academy scored twice to tie.
“Our girls responded,” Metzler said. “From that point on, I don’t think (Caldwell) had a shot on goal.”
Davidson Day scored twice in an eight-minute span of the second half to take a 4-2 lead. Caitlyn Rodrigues, a midfielder, had a hand in every score with two goals and two assists. Maddy Clark and Emma Reid had one goal each.
Rodrigues, Clark and center back Ciara Murphy, Davidson Day’s core group of seniors, were named to the all-state team. They’ve all signed to play in college next fall, and will leave a deep legacy of success.
“It was a great group to work with this season,” Metzler said. “The championship was bittersweet in a way, because it meant it was over. Our senior group accomplished a lot over the years and it’s going to look much different next year.”
Davidson Day will return plenty of key ingredients, however, including three starters who are in middle school. Eighth-graders Alexis Lynch (forward) and Peyton Mandel (outside back), and Reid, a seventh-grader, played vital roles en route to the title.
“They were crucial,” Metzler said. “All three stepped up really big and gave us a balance we haven’t had in past years.”
Davidson Day outscored opponents 89-22, including 14-5 in the playoffs.