NCISAA State Finals Rewind: Charlotte Country Day is field hockey state champions again

Charlotte Country Day captured its second field hockey championship in the past three years Saturday. Its 2-0 win over Cary Christian School solidified a dynasty of sorts for the Buccaneers.

“(The team) was just flawless,” head coach Kayleigh Ferlan said. “They have been fantastic all season. This group is so near and dear to my heart and I am just so proud of them.”

Country Day finished the season 15-5 and won its fourth straight game Saturday at home. Cary Christian finished 12-3.

“We work hard day in and day out,” Ferlan said. “We talk with the kids about the mental game and the physical game. We are just going to keep building here. It is an amazing place to be. It is an amazing school that is so supportive. So, I just love it.”

Game Highlights

Ellie Wilkins shifted around a defender for the first goal for Charlotte Country Day in the second period after a scoreless first quarter.

Grayson Anne McCurdy tacked on another goal about four minutes later, extending the Bucs’ lead to 2-0 at halftime.

The second half would be nothing short of an excellent defensive display for the Buccaneers.

Cary Christian had its opportunities but could never find the back of the net. Buccaneers’ sophomore goalkeeper Elizabeth Lyle had a lot to do with that.

“(Lyle) has just been dominant for us all season,” Ferlan said. “She just puts a good face on and is super tough. I am just super proud of her.”

Lyle was just happy to be able to contribute to yet another championship.

“This is super exciting,” Lyle said. “Last year didn’t go as well as we wanted so it is just nice to ultimately win the championship.”

Three Who Made a Difference

Ellie Wilkins, Charlotte Country Day: Wilkins got the first goal of the game for the Buccaneers and really got the momentum shifted in their favor. She was also able to deliver a lot of good passes to her teammates.

Grayson Anne McCurdy, Charlotte Country Day: McCurdy’s goal put the game out of reach. She played a very physical game, and Cary Christian School was very physical with her. Even so, she rose to the occasion.

Elizabeth Lyle, Charlotte Country Day: Lyle allowed zero goals in this game and only one in the Buccaneers past three games. Cary Christian had a lot of opportunities in the third period of play, but Lyle was able to deny all of them.

Davidson Day, Country Day, Cannon among state champions

Davidson Day won two state championships, and Charlotte Country Day, Cannon School and Gaston Day each captured one state title in the N.C. Independent Athletic Association’s Championship Saturday finals.

Meanwhile, Highland Tech’s Madison Darnell won the 1A singles championship in the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s girls’ tennis championship. Otherwise, it was a disappointing day for Charlotte-area public school girls’ tennis players.

Here is a summary of Saturday’s state finals results:

NCISAA 4A Volleyball

Cannon School put the cap on a spectacular season, sweeping North Raleigh Christian 3-0. The Cougars finished 22-2, winning their final 17 matches after a loss to eventual 2A state champ Davidson Day.

Team leaders this season for Cannon School were junior Maria Nix, who averaged 4.2 kills per set; senior Destiny Thomas, who averaged 1.7 kills per set; and junior Arianna Lopez, who averaged 3.1 digs per set.

NCISAA 2A Volleyball

Davidson Day finally broke through, after finishing second for two straight years, as the Patriots swept Trinity Academy 3-0. The Patriots finished with a 24-4 record and never lost after a late-August setback to Hough.

Davidson Day fell in the 2021 finals to Gaston Day and last year to University Christian.

NCISAA 2A Soccer

Davidson Day defeated Carolina Day in the championship match, played at Fayetteville Academy. A final score was not available as of Saturday evening.

Davidson Day finished 17-3, and the Patriots were led this season by seniors Chase Perry (23 goals) and Jasper Zulman (15 goals). The Patriots lost three in a row in late August but rebounded and won their final 14 matches of the season.

NCISAA 4A Girls’ Tennis

Charlotte Country Day captured its second consecutive state championship, blanking Providence Day 5-0 in the finals. It capped a 20-0 season for the Buccaneers, who finished second in the state in 2021 before winning the crown a year ago.

Anna Torstrick, Alexa Cone, Gabbie Baskett, Sally Farnham and Isla Smith scored singles victories for Charlotte Country Day. In No. 1 singles, Providence Day’s McKenzie-Rose Eason edged the Bucs’ Ardon Anton 7-6 in the first set, but the match was stopped when Charlotte Country Day clinched the title.

NCISAA 2A Girls’ Tennis

Gaston Day avenged a state championship loss last year to Trinity School of Durham/Chapel Hill by beating the Lions 5-1 for the 2023 2A crown.

Gaston Day lost 5-3 to the Lions a year ago in the finals but finished 18-0 this season. Sophomores Emilee Ibsen (No. 1 singles) and Avery Shaffer (No. 2) lost only once this season.

NCHSAA Girls’ Tennis

Highland Tech’s Madison Darnell downed N.C. School of Science & Math/Morganton’s Manya Nallagangu 7-5, 6-2 for the 1A state singles title.

All other Charlotte-area players lost in either the semifinals or finals Saturday.

In 4A singles, Myers Park’s Teagan Reilly lost 6-3, 6-4 to Broughton’s Allison Harris in the semis. Harris then beat Samantha Slowik of Jordan for the state championship.

In 4A doubles, the Myers Park team of Ann Mason Moore and Agnes Shinn fell 6-3, 6-1 to Leesville Road’s Mia Carliana and Diana Higgins in the semifinals. And Marvin Ridge’s Jesilyn and Eleri Pratiknjo lost 6-2, 6-2 to Apex Friendship’s Julianne and Carolyn Izod in the semis. The Izod sister then won the doubles title.

In 3A singles, Forestview’s Rennie Liu reached the championship match but fell 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 to Rocky Mount’s McKinley Battle. In the semifinals, Battle ousted Lake Norman Charter’s Luci Falls 6-4, 6-2.

In 3A doubles, the Lake Norman Charter team of Anslee Falls and Eleina Moon lost 6-1, 6-1 to Terry Sanford’s Pauline Bui and Loren Galavik, who then went on to take the championship.

And in 2A singles, Community School of Davidson’s Jadan Rounds fell 7-6 (3), 6-2 to Greene Central’s Anna Katherine Medlin. Olivia Hankinson of Research Triangle then beat Medlin for the title.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle