Rams fall to defending state champs in second round

soccer 5

Havelock's Natalie Johnson plays the ball between two White Oak defenders during a second-round playoff match Thursday in Jacksonville.

Don Bryan/Halifax Media
Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:33 AM.

For the third time this year, the Havelock girls soccer team played the White Oak Vikings, and for the third time this year, the Rams lost to the defending state champions by a single goal.

MaryKate Helms scored the game-winning goal with 9:29 left to lift White Oak to a 3-2 victory over Havelock in the second round of the state 3A playoffs on Thursday in Jacksonville.

“At the end of the game, they got a break-away goal and we didn’t get back. Other than that, the girls played some fantastic ball tonight,” Havelock coach Jeff Harris said. “It was good soccer. I don’t think you’re going to see a game this good in the championship game. This was just a fantastic game. It seems like the only people who can take our conference out is our conference.”

The Rams, the fourth seed from the Coastal 3A Conference, ended the season 14-8 after dropping a close game to their conference rivals for the third time this year. Havelock also lost to White Oak (17-4) 1-0 on April 16 and 2-1 on March 14.

“My girls played hard,” Harris said. “They played the peak of their game. Both sides played hard. It was just good hard soccer.”

With the game tied at 2-2, Helms ran up toward the ball and blasted a 30-yard shot that went through the net. The score was set up following a long kick from goalkeeper Alexis Jones that sailed into Havelock’s defensive third of the field.

White Oak’s Ericca Lenhardt then played the ball, drawing Havelock goalie Amanda Alexander away from the goal. Lenhardt, Alexander and a defender then collided with the ball squirting away, only for Helms to run up and take an open shot.

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