The Lejeune High School girls’ soccer team is out of the state playoffs following an 8-1 loss to Durham, North Carolina’s Research Triangle High School in the first round on May 7 in Durham, N.C.
Research Triangle, the No. 12 seed in the East Region, made the most of their scoring opportunities by finding the back of the net four times in the first half. The Raptors of the Central Tar Heel 1A Conference carried that momentum into the second half and scored four more times.
“They had some quality players that handled the ball well,” said Lejeune head coach Charles Teegarden.
Research Triangle was led by senior Halima Hasan and freshman Rachel Boat who both had three goals apiece. The Devil Pups’ lone goal came from junior Georgia Lee who finished the season with 24 goals.
“This season the girls came together and did their best,” Teegarden said. “They played well together as a team. I’m sure they will have memories that they can take away with them.”
Research Triangle, a charter school founded in 2012, improved to 12-4 on the season. The Devil Pups, the No. 21 seed in the East Region, ended the year with a record of 5-13-2.
“We are going to have these years from year-to-year,” Teegarden said. “We’ve been sorting through the injuries and trying different personnel. It has been a struggle trying to find what works best when we don’t have the normal numbers. It has hurt us … We finished the season with 15 girls. We normally have about 25 or 26. We did as best we could with the personnel we had.”
Teegarden estimates that he will lose about half of his team in the offseason because of graduating seniors as well as players relocating due to their families’ permanent changes of station. The four seniors on this year’s team were Ariana Quackenbush, Jasmin Acosta, Kayla Tomlinson and Kaylee Moore.
“The best part about this group is that they’re always playing hard and having fun regardless of who (the opponent) is and where we’re at,” Teegarden said.
After winning only two Coastal 8 1A/2A Conference matches this season, Teegarden knows the Devil Pups have room for improvement heading into the offseason, but that’s not stopping him from having high hopes.
“They (the players) know I have high expectations,” Teegarden said. “They know I expect a lot.”