NORTHERN GUILFORD               3 (OT)

ASHEVILLE — The Northern Guilford girls soccer season didn’t end the way the Nighthawks dreamed it would, but they left a lot of sweat and a lot of memories on fields across the western part of the state.

The last and most bitter memory will be tonight’s 5-3 overtime loss at T.C. Roberson that denied Northern a trip to Saturday’s NCHSAA Class 3-A championship game.

“I’m proud of my girls,” said first-year Nighthawks coach Frank Tamborino. “They did really well and I can’t ask for anything more. They played their hearts out.”

After being totally outplayed in the opening half but hanging on to keep the match scoreless, the Nighthawks (22-2-1) scored in the 42nd and 46th minutes and had momentum.

“It showed the resiliency of these ladies,” Tamborino said of his team’s play early in the second half, “and they’ve got a lot of talent.”

But Roberson (23-4-0) finally began to capitalize on its chances and scored the next three goals.

“Just get one back, that was the goal,” said Rams coach Joshua Martin. “We felt like if we got that one we could get a second. Then we go up, but give up a goal. But the girls never stopped believing in each other.”

But Northern wasn’t ready for its deepest playoff run in school history to end. Christina Layton scored for the second time off a corner kick taken by Blair Young, and the match was tied with 9:40 to play.

But a goal by Roberson’s Maddie Luckett on a cutback from left to right and a clinical finish with 0.9 seconds left in the first of the two 10-minute overtime periods was the backbreaker and put the Rams in front to stay. They added a clincher in the 99th minute.

“We’ll be in the mix next year,” Tamborino said of a team that will lose most of its defense to graduation, but will welcome back leading goal-scorer Hayley Magnussen and some attacking talent. “We’ll have a lot of young players, but we have lots of talent coming up.”

Northern Guilford             0   3   0   0   —   3

T.C. Roberson                      0   3   1   1   —   5

Goals: Northern Guilford  Ellie Grove (42), Christina Layton (46, 81). T.C. Roberson — N/A. Assists: Northern Guilford — Blair Young 2, Hayley Magnussen. T.C. Roberson — N/A. Goalies (saves): Northern Guilford — Claire Marion (13); T.C. Roberson — Amber Gay (3). Corner kicks: Northern Guilford 3, T.C. Roberson 11. Cautions: Northern Guilford — Magnussen (60); T.C. Roberson — Coach Joshua Martin (94).​

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Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraNR on Twitter.

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