Falcons named No. 1 in nation

mblake@newsobserver.comMay 31, 2013 

Green Hope celebrates winning the NCHSAA 4A Girl’s Soccer Championship against Hough 2-0 at Dail Soccer Field in Raleigh May 25 .

CHRIS ADAMCZYK — newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Minutes after the final second ticked off the clock in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A girls’ soccer championship game, Sheldon Shealor, editor of EliteSoccerReport.com, had an announcement to make.

Shealor tweeted: “Green Hope’s 2-0 win over Hough secures the ESR Spring No. 1 ranking for @GreenHopeSoccer, this year. Coast-to-coast as No. 1.”

May 25 was a day the Falcons could reap all the accolades they had been aiming for. They were soccer champions, exacting revenge in a rematch of last year’s title loss to Hough. They were unbeaten and untied.

And now, the No. 1 team in the country.

“This is by far ... composure-wise the best game we’ve had. Something about today, we were just so relaxed and we just knew how to get it done,” senior co-captain Alexis Degler said. “I think in our hearts we had absolutely no doubt we were going to win.”

Green Hope didn’t so much as claim the championship as it matured into champions.

Many of the seniors first started playing at Green Hope when they were sophomores, just after CASL had eased its stance on its top girls’ soccer players participating for their high school team.

As juniors, they came back wanting a state title, but suffered heartbreak in a late 2-1 championship game defeat, their only non-win of the season.

Even with no state championship to their name, the Falcons had the target on their back throughout the 2013 season. They won three one-goal games in their final seven contests.

“I would have so regretted not playing high school soccer because you’re not only playing for your team, you’re playing for your school,” Degler said. “And to give your school something to be proud of or leave your mark on your school is just an unreal feeling.”

The Falcons scored 149 goals and gave up just 15. They had more shutouts (17) than goals allowed.

Coach Bobby Peterson’s team is 53-1-0 during the past two seasons.

With 28 straight wins, Green Hope is tied for the second-longest winning streak in NCHSAA history and has the third-longest active streak in the nation. Green Hope also became the fifth school to sweep NCHSAA soccer titles in the same athletic season and the first to do it at the 4A level.

Gibbons wins 3A: Earlier on May 25, Cardinal Gibbons took home its second NCHSAA girl’s soccer championship, defeating Hickory St. Stephens 3-0 in the 3A title game.

All three goals were in the first 20 minutes of the game.

“Our motto’s kind of come out hard and try to stop them in the first half and take all of their momentum,” junior Morgan Reid said. “If we have a good offense, it makes a good defense because it’s not going to be on our side of the field, so that was kind of what our idea was. We have a lot of very quick forwards, so if we get it up to them quickly, you know good things are going to happen, and today they did.”

Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps.

Cary News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service