Franklin Academy 1, Community School of Davidson 5
By Marty Simpkins
RALEIGH — Franklin Academy’s girls soccer team ended their best season in program history with a 5-1 loss to Community School of Davidson in the 1A state championship game at N.C. State Saturday.
It was the first time this year the Patriots lost to a 1A team after going 22-1 prior to the state title match. Their one loss was to Cary Academy, a 3A team.
Even though it was a tough loss for Franklin Academy, head coach Kambyl Borries had a positive outlook on how everything played out this season.
“I don’t think any of us are leaving disappointed,” Borries said. “This is further than any girls soccer team at Franklin Academy has ever gotten before. I’m proud of them and I hope they’re proud of themselves for what they’ve done this year.”
After just one minute into the state title game, Lissi Gordon took a corner kick for Community School of Davidson and Julia Grainda scored a header into the back of the net for the first goal of the match.
In the 18th minute, Gordon scored for the Spartans after receiving a pass from Anna Lavella.
Ten minutes later, Grainda scored her second goal of the game and Gordon was credited with her second assist.
Franklin Academy went into halftime behind on the scoreboard for the first time this postseason.
“I told the girls at halftime that this is the last game of the season and to leave everything they got, because they won’t need it anymore after this,” Borries said. “I also told them to keep their head in the game and keep it high. I tried to keep their spirits high.”
With 20 minutes left in the game, Lavella scored on a header and was assisted by Grainda.
A minute later, Community School of Davidson scored on the exact same play. This time, it was Kendall Miller that scored on a header, but it was Grainda that recorded the assist again.
Grainda ended up winning the 1A state championship Most Valuable Player for her two goals and two assists.
Late in the game, Franklin Academy’s Kennedy Capps scored on a penalty kick to put the Patriots on the scoreboard. However, there wasn’t enough time for a comeback.
“Community School of Davidson knows how to use their space,” Borries said. “They are very swift on their attack and they press hard to the ball. We didn’t step hard enough to the ball when we needed to.”
Franklin Academy played in the state championship game without Kiera Stephan, their team captain and leading scorer. Stephan suffered a knee injury in the regional championship game against Whiteville.
Borries said the junior tore her ACL and LCL and has an estimated recovery time of 46 months.
“Kiera is very much the leader of this team,” Borries said. “It’s hard as a team to bounce back after losing someone like Kiera. I can’t say the outcome against Community School of Davidson would be any different, because winning is a team effort.”
Stephan ended her junior year with a career-high 45 goals. She also recorded 13 assists.
The 2016 spring season wasn’t a total loss for Franklin Academy. They won the most games in a single season in program history with 22. They also scored a program-best 154 goals this season.
The Patriots also broke a school record of most wins by mercy rule with eight. A girls soccer game ends when the score is 9-0 or more by halftime.
Franklin Academy also set another school record by posting 14 shutouts this year.
Franklin Academy will only lose three seniors and two starters to graduation. Borries said she is excited for the bright future ahead for the Patriots with nine returning starters.
“This year is just a taste of what we can do next year,” Borries said. “We’ll be back next year and
I’m so excited. Mark (Kassay) and I are already planning next year’s preseason conditioning. This season is just more aspiring for what we can do next year.”