RALEIGH — The Broughton girls provided the entertainment. Their male counterparts brought the excitement.
Both Capitals lacrosse teams were victorious in their second-round state playoff games at Broughton High School on Saturday night. The girls eased by Middle Creek, 20-10, while the boys skimmed past another Southwest Wake Athletic Conference team, Athens Drive, 12-11.
Both Broughton teams advance to the third round where they will both face East Chapel Hill on Tuesday. The girls are entering uncharted territory as the first Capitals team to advance to the third round. The boys, meanwhile, lost in the third round last year to East Chapel Hill.
“It’s going to be a rematch of last year’s third round. We’re really excited to have earned two more days of lacrosse and we’re going to try to make the most of them,” Broughton boys’ coach Damian Hall said.
“We’re not ready to end the season,” Caps girls’ coach Patricia Alexander said. “This team is ready to go. They’re starting to believe they’re as good as they are and they’re comfortable finally being the team that is hunted.”
The Broughton boys (13-3) were given all they could handle by the Jaguars. Athens Drive (12-5) led 5-4 at halftime, at one point accounting for five out of six goals scored. The Jaguars surged again down the stretch, scoring three of the final four goals after trailing 11-8. Down 12-11, Athens Drive gained possession with one minute remaining in the game and following a timeout, launched an all-out assault on Broughton goalkeeper Paxton Massarelli.
“Paxton stood on his head,” Hall said. “We just told our guys (during the timeout) just to be patient and not to be over-aggressive. We knew they were going to try to go to the goal so we didn’t have to force something. Just keep your guy in front of you and just play defense like you’ve been playing all game.”
Broughton girls’ goalie Olivia Joyner was just as clutch in the late going, surrendering just three second-half goals and holding Middle Creek (5-11) scoreless for the final 12:43 of the game.
“Our goalie in the second half, Olivia, came up huge, which is a wonderful compliment to our defensive side,” Alexander said.
Like the boys’ game, there was also a timeout huddle that proved pivotal in the girls’ game. With Middle Creek within striking distance at a 13-8 deficit early in the second half, Alexander spoke to her team.
“I’m not ready to let them go and I reminded them of that during the timeout,” Alexander said. “I asked them if they were all ready to call it their last game and they all said ‘No’.”
Lightning fast starts were key for both Capitals teams. The girls (17-2) scored twice in the first minute of the game – including a goal by Sydney Fry just 15 seconds into the contest – while the boys jumped to a 2-0 lead when Zach Burgess scored two goals just 11 seconds apart in the early going.
The boys’ game featured five lead changes and five ties with neither team leading by more than three goals at any point. Those three-goal leads, both by Broughton, lasted a total of just 1:01.
Meanwhile, the Capital girls never faced a tie game after the early goal by Fry and never led by less than five goals in the second half.
Broughton’s Kelsey Dupere led all scorers in the girls’ game with nine goals while Fry added four. Sam Caputo led Middle Creek with four goals while Holly Hite chipped in three.
Troy Jones paced the Broughton boys attack with four goals and was aided by a three-goal effort from Burgess. Matt Balog scored four times for Athens Drive while Bobby Padden and Connor Gronbach both enjoyed two-goal games. Brock Martin notched three assists for the Jaguars.