Contributors: Bria Irizarry, Isaiah Caldwell ’20 and Colleen Gunning
After living through a 2020 season that was void of team practices and competition and instead was full of virtual team meetings, senior days and end-of-year celebrations, DA’s spring season student-athletes are looking forward to in-person senior days and the last week of the regular 2021 season.
Senior Kabir Khwaja of DA track and field reflected on how grateful he is to be able to compete this spring.
“The culture of our track team stems from training together,” he said. “Putting in hard work toward our goals brings us closer, and it’s what I value the most from my experience on track.”
With COVID-19 restrictions being loosened across the state, DA athletics is now allowing every student-athlete who is competing to have four spectators at home events, and visiting varsity teams will be allowed to have two spectators per athlete. This is a big milestone for DA teams as well as coaches, athletic trainers and parent volunteers who have been judiciously keeping up with health screenings and attendance permission lists since July of last year.
Looking ahead to next week, seniors will be honored at home games throughout the week:
- Tuesday: DA baseball vs. Cary Academy at 4:30 p.m.
- Wednesday: DA track and field vs. Cary Academy at 4 p.m. and girls soccer vs. Saint Mary’s School at 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday: DA boys tennis vs. Wake Christian Academy at 4:15 p.m.
- Friday: DA boys lacrosse vs. North Raleigh Christian Academy at 4 p.m. and DA girls lacrosse vs. Charlotte Country Day School at 6 p.m.
“Senior Night celebrates that experience — being part of a group that finds strength in working together,” Khwaja said. “Of course I’ll remember meets and races, but I’ll miss practicing with the team even more.”
After five games in a seven-day stretch, DA varsity baseball sits at 7–4 on the season, heading into Friday’s 5 p.m. road game at Ravenscroft.
In last Thursday’s home matchup with North Raleigh Christian Academy, the Cavs got the offense going early, taking a 10–3 lead over the Knights after five innings. However, after two more scoreless innings, NRCA rallied in the seventh to close in on the DA lead, scoring five runs — including a grand slam with two outs. On the mound, junior Stephen Lamb held off the Knights’ chance to tie it up and the Cavs took the 10–8 win. Junior Sean Donahue led the team with three RBIs in five plate appearances.
The following day, the Cavs were back on the field hosting the Wake Christian Bulldogs. Sophomore Sam Schaeffer put DA on the board first after knocking a pitch into center field to bring home junior Jackson Niedel. The Cavs held a 1–0 lead after three quick innings from senior Scott West, who threw 37 pitches with no hits and three strikeouts. However, the Bulldogs sparked their offensive energy late in the fourth, scoring seven runs, and continued this pace to stretch the lead in the remaining innings. The Cavs scored two more runs after senior Will Dowell crossed the plate and Neidel sent a solo home run over the left-field fence, but ultimately it wasn’t enough and DA fell 13–3.
DA bounced right back from the loss to WCA with a big 8–2 win over Ravenscroft on Tuesday. The Cavs immediately took a two-run lead in their first at-bats after an RBI single from Niedel and a run walked in with the loaded bases. The Cavs brought in four more runs off RBIs from Lamb (1) and sophomores William Chen (1) and Jack Goldstein (2) to strengthen the lead after the third inning. Ravenscroft gained a few more chances to score runners, but DA’s strong defense held the Ravens to only two runs. Sophomore Ben Tarpey sent in another run in the fifth inning, and a solo blast over the center-field fence from Donahue rounded out the Cavs’ scoring.
Niedel was credited with his third win of the season after pitching four innings, striking out five batters and allowing only two runs on three hits.
DA boys golf had an exciting start to the week with two wins over Ravenscroft in as many days, both in Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Both matches were close as the Cavs defeated the Ravens on Monday 301–311 at Lonnie Poole Golf Club and earned a 308–314 win on Senior Day at the Governors Club.
Lone senior Jackson Brimfield was a medalist in both events, scoring a 72 on Monday and a 2-under-par 70 on Tuesday. Sophomore William Chapman scored a 73 on Monday and an 80 on Tuesday, while classmate Nicholas Hogan scored an 82 on Monday and an 80 on Tuesday. Seventh-grader Tate Duensing made his mark at 74 on Tuesday as well.
The Cavs will take to the course again on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro against Wesleyan.
Last Friday, DA boys lacrosse hosted out-of-conference opponent Cape Fear Academy and rallied late in the third quarter to secure a 6–4 victory over the Hurricanes.
The Cavs went down two goals in the first quarter, but quickly bounced back in the second after sophomore Brodie Mason notched his second goal of the game and junior Austin Corbett tallied his first. The score remained tied 3–3 at the half.
Both Cape Fear and DA kicked their physicality into gear in the third quarter, but the Hurricanes were the first to score. The Cavs responded with three unanswered goals from junior Nate Alexander, sophomore Hugh Wheeler and senior Gavin Schulz to regain the lead 5–4 with just over 1:30 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Schulz ripped his second goal of the night on the Hurricanes’ goalie to put an exclamation mark on the game and solidify the win for the Cavs. Senior goalkeeper John Donovan made 17 saves, while Schulz and Mason ended with two goals a piece. Corbett finished the night with one goal and two assists.
Despite another close game against Forsyth Country Day, in which they tied the score three different times, the Cavs could not manage to get out in front and lost to the Furies on the road 11–10 on Tuesday night. The battle came down to the last three minutes after Wheeler brought the Cavs within one and the team was awarded a man-up opportunity with 2:32 left on the clock. Unfortunately, the Cavs turned the ball over and the Furies captured the one-goal win.
Boys lacrosse is now 6–3 on the season and will face off against visiting Ravenscroft at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
DA girls lacrosse posted a 14–2 win over visiting Cary Academy last Friday afternoon on Alumni Field.
The Cavs took an early 3–0 lead over the Chargers and never looked back. Sophomore Spencer Jennings notched two goals and ninth-grader Evelyn Guyer tallied one goal to start the game. Senior Brooke Epstein continued to widen the gap with three more goals in the first half, and Jennings also secured a hat trick to keep the Cavs on pace. Just minutes into the second half, DA was up 9–1 and with the help of senior Kathleen Donovan and two more goals from Epstein, the Cavs came out on top. Epstein had seven goals on the night, followed by Jennings with five goals and Guyer with one goal and four assists.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Cavs again controlled the momentum of the game from start to finish, overpowering visiting Saint Mary’s 14–6. After taking a solid five minutes to find the back of the net, Guyer turned an interception into a goal to kick-start the scoring for DA. The Cavs capitalized on their ride in the midfield, and both Donovan and senior Cecile Meredith scored out of transition.
Epstein went on to score three of the last four DA goals before the end of the half to help the Cavs extend their lead to 9–2 at the whistle. Epstein started the second half the way she ended the first, with three consecutive goals, and the score crept up to 12–2 in favor of DA. The Saints slipped a shot past junior goalkeeper Mirella Kades, but DA was again quick to respond with a transition goal from ninth-grader Kierstin Hackman. The Saints put two more on the board, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.
DA girls lacrosse is 6–1 ahead of Friday’s 5:15 p.m. road contest against Ravenscroft.
DA varsity girls soccer split a pair of games this week, with an exciting double-overtime penalty shootout win over North Raleigh Christian and a loss to Cary Academy on the road.
In last Friday’s home matchup with NRCA, the Cavs were first to strike after sophomore Faith Hanson sailed one into the back of the net halfway through the first half. After a 1–0 DA lead at halftime, the Knights opened up the second half with an equalizer. The game remained very evenly matched as time ran out in regulation and forced the first overtime with the score tied at 1.
After much back and forth, senior Molly McLaughlin had a great look on goal in the final minute, but the shot just barely missed wide to send the game into a second overtime. Again, both teams had a few opportunities, but nothing got past the goalkeepers and it eventually came down to penalty kicks.
The Cavs went 5-for-5 in the shootout with successful kicks from juniors Kennedy Yon and Isabel Trahey-Matzen, sophomores Meghan Phu, Kaia Vorenkamp and Hanson. Sophomore Cameron Mackay stepped up in goal, stopping one of the NRCA attempts to help lift DA to a 2–1 victory.
The team hit the road on Tuesday night to face off with Cary Academy and found themselves trailing 2–0 at halftime. The Chargers added another goal off a breakaway early into the second half to make it a 3–0 game. Hanson quickly responded with a blast from inside the box to put the Cavs on the board; however, DA couldn’t close the gap and fell 3–1.
Varsity girls soccer moves to 3–5 on the season and looks to Friday for another matchup with Wake Christian Academy, after previously defeating the Bulldogs 3–2. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m.
The varsity boys tennis team competed in two matches this past week, winning them both and clinching at least a share of the TISAC conference regular season championship.
On Friday, April 16, the boys hosted North Raleigh Christian Academy and cruised to a 9–0 victory, their second of the year against the Knights. The Cavs had dominated in their previous matchup against the Knights, and that performance allowed the team to make some lineup changes and get other players out on the court. This match began with three convincing doubles performances by the Cavs. Sophomore Pete Crowley and junior Gavin Levinson won on Court 1, seniors Frank Borden and Jack Preble teamed up and won on Court 2, and junior Aadesh Anchaliya and sophomore JP Dilweg were victorious on Court 3. DA followed its strong doubles play with singles matches that proved why it is at the top of the conference. Crowley, sophomore Paul Wang, Borden, sophomore Owen Brent-Levenstein, senior Jackson Zobrist and eighth-grader Jet Bilsborrow tallied all six wins for the Cavs.
DA carried the momentum from Friday’s win into Tuesday’s match with Cary Academy, where again the Cavs earned a win. This match was nearly identical to the competition between these two teams a couple of weeks ago, minus the rain delay. Once again, the Cavs got off to a strong start sweeping all three of the doubles matches, but they were not easy. Wang and Borden were the pair representing DA on Court 1, and they took down their opponents by a slim margin of 8–6 to get the win. The match then progressed onto singles play, where things really started to get interesting. Cary Academy won the first two matches, quickly narrowing the score to 3–2. Crowley then went on to survive on Court 1, restoring the Cavs’ two-point lead and making the score 4–2. At this point, DA only needed one more result to secure the victory, and all three of the remaining courts finished around the same time. Wang and Zobrist both provided much-needed wins to give the Cavs a 6–3 victory over the Chargers and move the team to 10–1 on the season.
The boys have a small break in match play, but will return to the courts on April 27 to challenge Ravenscroft at home, where they will look to win the conference championship outright.
Track and Field
The varsity boys and girls track teams did not compete in any meets this week, but will face visiting Saint David’s and Wake Christian Academy Thursday at 4 p.m.
Keeping Up with the Cavs
As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).
- For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit www.da.org/teams.
- Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
- All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).
The DA App: Schedules and Results
- The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at http://bit.ly/DACavaliers. The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
- The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.