Cardinal Gibbons beats Chapel Hill to return to girls lacrosse state championship game

Cardinal Gibbons beats Chapel Hill to return to girls lacrosse state championship game

Cardinal Gibbons has already won more N.C. High School Athletic Association girls lacrosse state championships than any other school in the state, and now the Crusaders can add to that total.

In a pouring rain on Tuesday afternoon, Cardinal Gibbons defeated Chapel Hill 14-9 in the eastern regional championship game, sending the Crusaders to their third straight state championship game.

Cardinal Gibbons went on a 7-2 run in the second half to pull away from the Tigers. After leading 8-4 at halftime, the Crusaders scored three straight goals in the third quarter — Ella Grimes scored on an assist from Hayden Miller, then Miller and Jane Bailey Ward scored unassisted goals to give Cardinal Gibbons an 11-4 advantage.

The Tigers, who tried to control the pace of play throughout the game and limit the number of opportunities Cardinal Gibbons had on offense, managed back-to-back goals from Scarlett Gilner, but the deficit was too much for Chapel Hill to overcome.

Lexi Mullahy connected with Grimes late in the third quarter, leading to a goal and putting Cardinal Gibbons up 12-6 going into the fourth quarter.

Cardinal Gibbons scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter to put the game away. Mullahy scored 39 seconds into the quarter to push the lead to 13-6, then Ward scored on a pass from Rocky Phelps, and Charlotte Jackson found the net thanks to an assist from Miller. Cardinal Gibbons led 15-6 with 7:54 left in the game.

Izzi Hammond scored one last goal for Cardinal Gibbons, and the Tigers added two fourth quarter goals from Emily Breschi and Scarlett Gilner.

Grimes and Hammond each scored four goals for the Crusaders, while Jackson finished with three.

Caridnal Gibbons has won the last two state championships in girls lacrosse, beating Charlotte Catholic in each of the last two seasons. The Crusaders have six girls lacrosse state titles in hand, four ahead of second place, which belongs to Charlotte Catholic and East Chapel Hill.

Winning a third consecutive state championship would not be unheard of for Cardinal Gibbons. The Crusaders won four straight beginning in 2016.

For the third straight year, Cardinal Gibbons will meet Charlotte Catholic in the championship game. The Cougars defeated Weddington 8-7 in the western regional championship on Tuesday night.

The 4A girls lacrosee state championship game will be on either Friday or Saturday at Durham County Memorial Stadium. The NCHSAA is expected to release the state championship schedule on Wednesday.