Two defending field hockey champions battled it out for bragging rights last Thursday at Durham Academy.
The 2A Cavaliers more than held their own against 4A East Chapel Hill in a 1-0 loss.
Cavaliers coach Judy Chandler won her 10th title last October, defeating Providence Day School 2-1 in OT in the N.C. Independent State Athletic Association Championship. So, naturally, she wasn’t feeling any inferiority complex to the Wildcats.
“We feel like we’re the big boys, too,” she said.
East Chapel Hill, which went undefeated last season in winning its fifth straight state championship, is 4-1 so far this season.
Durham Academy was playing just its second game of the season. The team defeated Charlotte Country Day 3-2 last month before a two-week layoff.
“We had so many chances but couldn’t capitalize,” Chandler continued. “They made the most of their opportunity, and that was the difference.”
The Wildcats thought they had scored before time expired in the first half but the officials waved it off, leaving a scoreless half.
The Cavaliers upped their aggressiveness offensively in the second half, but Wildcats goalie Grace Haley, who had four saves, was a 5-foot-5 road block.
ECHHS forward Addie Agatucci broke the scoreless drought with 11:33 left in the game, which drew a remark by a Wildcats parent: “That should be two.”
The Cavaliers had several more good shots at the goal, including four penalty kicks with no time remaining in the game, but couldn’t convert.
The Wildcats have dedicated the season to “Sophie,” a former junior varsity player who died of cancer. Players wore T-shirts that read “Do it for Sophie.”
NCCU’s Hutchinson gets top honor
N.C. Central student-athlete Joseph Hutchinson was named the 2013 MEAC Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Hutchinson will be awarded the honor during an Eagles’ home televised ESPNU football game Oct. 10 against South Carolina State.
Hutchinson was a four-year letterman for the Eagles. A two-year starter, he played in all 11 games in his senior season, including starting 10 games on the offensive line. He received the 2013 Outstanding Scholar Award by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Hutchinson graduated magna cum laude in June with a degree in business administration, accumulating a 3.512 GPA. He worked in NCCU's football administration in 2010 as an intern and recently participated in an internship with the Global Football and Nike Sportswear Product Line at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
The male student-athlete of the year is given to the student-athlete who has excelled academically and athletically, and is in his final season of intercollegiate athletics eligibility. Last year’s honoree was N.C. A&T track and field star Jared Baldwin.