Devereaux scores winning goal in overtime

Published 9:32 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

Davie’s varsity soccer team exorcised demons with a 1-0 overtime triumph over host North Davidson. It attempted to do the same against visiting Reynolds, but fell short 2-1.

The War Eagles pulled out a classic defensive battle at North Davidson, ending a long losing streak in the series and handing the Black Knights their first loss.

While North slipped to 3-1-1 overall and 1-1 in the Central Piedmont Conference, Davie, getting a goal from Claire Devereaux, improved to 2-3, 1-1.

“I’m super excited and proud of my girls,” coach Kerstin Steinour said. “It was a phenomenal game.”

The War Eagles were 0-7-1 in the last eight meetings, and they were closing in on desperation mode after a 1-3 start. The gut-check win was Davie’s first over North since 2010.

“We switched around a few players and it made all the difference,” she said. “Our passing was on and everything clicked for us. We were able to stop them up top and forced them to take long shots. I don’t have any one player to speak of for this game. The entire team was spot on.”

Two minutes into the first 10-minute session of OT, the ball shot across the goal box. Annie Kinder attempted a shot. It deflected off the keeper and Devereaux finished it for her team-high fourth goal of the season. The goal stood up for the remaining 18 minutes.

Davie outshot North 14-9.

Steinour rotated three sets of midfielders. Mia Byers, Lindsey Stroupe, Katelyn Hernandez and Katherine Watts were the starters there. Kinder, Emily Muchukot, Hernandez and Watts played together. Erin Gniewek, Ali Guttenberg, Hernandez and Watts formed another group.

Allie Carter, Brooke Hedgspeth, Payton Beaty and Melani Anderson were the starting defenders. Riley Ball and Jennifer Ngo also played defense.

Faith Bokeno played some striker alongside Devereaux, and Bokeno also gave Watts a break from time to time at midfield.

Goalie Mary Tellup’s biggest save came late in overtime.

“She had a fantastic save with about two minutes left in the second half of overtime that could have easily resulted in a goal,” Steinour said.

Teammates voted Anderson as the player of the game “for her great job on defense,” Steinour said. “Our defense was just a wall that North couldn’t get through.”

Three nights after the War Eagles’ emotions were higher than the Empire State Building, they suffered an excruciating 2-1 home loss to Reynolds.

It was tough to take because Davie outshot the Demons 13-2.

“We just couldn’t get it in,” she said. “The few shots they did have all game were blocked well by Tellup.”

The War Eagles were hoping for their third-ever win in the series, but they fell behind 1-0 by halftime and a Reynolds goal five minutes into the second half proved to be the backbreaker.

Reynolds improved to 4-5 overall. Davie, with three goals in four games, slipped to 2-4, 1-2.

“We certainly did not play to our full potential,” Steinour said. “The first half we were slow to get going.”

One minute after Reynolds’ second goal, Devereaux scored on a header following a cross from Hedgspeth. The junior has five of Davie’s 14 goals.

At that point, Davie had found its groove. Unfortunately, its superiority in the second half did not prevent defeat.

“During the second half, and certainly after we scored, we started to come alive and we dominated the (rest of the game),” she said. “Carter did a great job as center back on defense.”

The Davie junior varsity was shut out in both games, 6-0 by North Davidson and 3-0 by Reynolds. Davie is 1-3, 0-3.