On Friday night, the Durham Academy boys soccer team had a highly anticipated matchup vs. down-the-road rival Jordan High School. Our student body was motivated to support our team, and our school community showed up with lots of enthusiasm and a “blackout” clothing theme.
Just before the starting lineup, students, families, teachers and alumni filled the stands at Alumni Field, donning black T-shirts, bandanas and even black glitter, ready to cheer on the soccer team. As our team was called to the middle of the field for introductions, the DA crowd came alive with excitement and positive energy to fill our student-athletes with inspiration to compete at their best. Student Government President Benny Klein, a senior, served as emcee for the night — calling the starting lineups, playing music that enlivened the sea of DA fans and encouraging organized cheers in support of the players.
The validation of the support felt by the team was in the final minutes of the game when the Cavaliers scored their first goal and tied the game 1–1. As soon as the ball hit the back of the net, nine players on the field ran to the stands to celebrate with the crowd. The game ended in a tie, due to non-conference rules, but it was a true win for the DA athletics fans and student-athletes who felt lifted by the support of their community.
The Cavaliers cross-country teams hosted the annual Durham Academy Invitational — featuring teams across the Triangle, including Cary Academy, Jordan High School, N.C. School of Science and Math and Riverside High School — on Saturday.
The girls race kicked off the morning, and junior Quinn Shanahan made her way to the front of the pack early. At the two-mile mark, Shanahan remained in the lead with senior Claire Middleton and junior Anna Catherine Wilson not far behind. Shanahan officially took first place with a time of 19:33, and DA placed three more runners in the top 10. Middleton placed fourth with a time of 19:52, Wilson in fifth with a time of 19:59 and eighth-grader Allison Hall in 10th with a time of 20:45. Sophomore Stella Stringer was just shy of the top 10, placing 11th with a time of 20:50. The Cavaliers finished in first place overall with a score of 31, ahead of Cary Academy’s 43 points.
The Boys A race followed. Just as his sister, Quinn, did in the girls race, junior Jay Shanahan fought to the front of the pack quickly. Shanahan maintained his distance from the rest of the pack heading into the two-mile mark, while seniors Shan Wang, Mac Hays and Mark Alkins continued to fight for positioning in the second group of runners. Shanahan convincingly placed first with a time of 16:34, followed by two more Cavs placing in the top 10: Hays placed sixth with a time of 17:57, and Wang placed eighth with a time of 18:00. The Cavs finished in first place overall with a score of 57, just under Cary Academy’s 59.
DA cross-country returns to competition today to face Ravenscroft at 4:15 p.m. at home.
Durham Academy field hockey had a short week of competition last week due to Hurricane Dorian. The Cavs were supposed to face Saint Mary’s on Friday night, but Saint Mary’s was out of school and the game had to be postponed.
On Tuesday night, the team hit the road south to face East Chapel Hill High School. The Cavs came out strong, and senior Elizabeth Owens scored off a pass from fellow senior Abby Hulka. DA followed up with an unassisted goal from junior Katherine Lantzy just before the half. In the second half, the Wildcats stormed back to score two goals and force overtime at 2–2. The Cavs ultimately lost 3–2 in double overtime.
The team will travel to Charlotte for a 4:15 p.m. Friday non-conference matchup vs. Charlotte Latin.
The previously undefeated Cavaliers girls golf team lost a close match to Cary Academy on Tuesday afternoon, 135–134. Ninth-grader Ona Lukes was the medalist for DA with a low score of 41.
Over the weekend, seventh-grader Saia Rampersaud was one of just 10 regional qualifiers in her division to advance to the 2020 Drive, Chip and Putt Finals that will take place at Augusta National on April 5.
The boys soccer team tied Jordan High School on Friday night in what proved to be a very physical match between the two teams. The ball remained in the midfield for much of the first half, as both teams attempted to maintain possession of the ball. Near the end of the first half, the ball traveled back and forth, with both teams getting shots on cage, but neither team found success. At halftime, the score was 0–0.
The second half started off just as the first ended, with both teams working to get shots. Jordan earned a free kick just outside the box and scored off a well-placed ball to the lower-left corner of the goal. The Cavs would not get on the board until 2 minutes and 6 seconds remained in the game, when ninth-grader Wyatt Benjamin touched a second-chance ball off the goalkeeper in the back of the net. The non-conference game ended in a 1–1 tie.
On a hot, mid-September Tuesday night, the Cavs took on the Knights of North Raleigh Christian Academy in their second Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference matchup of the season. After some strong defensive play and a handful of shot opportunities by the Cavs, the score was 0–0 at the half. The team had an aggressive start to the second half, and senior Ryan Kirschner soon found junior Charlie Robb inside the box to put the Cavs on the board. The Cavs maintained the lead with a point-blank save by junior goalkeeper Sam Datin just before the five-minute mark, and a few minutes later, junior Walker Benjamin passed to senior Will Nichols for the second goal of the game. This goal sealed the win for the Cavs, with a final score of 2–0.
The team hits the road on Friday when they face Charlotte Latin, an undefeated, non-conference opponent, at 5:30 p.m.
The girls tennis team remains undefeated and has extended its win streak to 25 after a very busy week of competition. The Cavs faced Ravenscroft on Friday evening, and after a slow start to doubles, rallied to win 8–1 with wins from seniors Alexis Galloway and Madeline Towning at first, and seniors Taylor Hunter and Isabella Strauss at third. With her win in doubles, Galloway earned her 105th career win, breaking the school record held by Marie Li ’15. In singles play, Towning, Galloway, Clark, Hunter and sophomore Mukta Dharmapurikar took wins, while senior Alex Bayer rallied from a set down to win a thrilling 10–8 third set.
On Monday, the Cavaliers beat Cardinal Gibbons 6–3. Towning and Galloway won at first and second singles and first doubles. Hunter and Strauss won 8–3 at third doubles, and in singles play, Bayer and Dharmapurikar won on courts 5 and 6 to solidify the win.
In their third match in five days, the Cavs took on visiting North Raleigh Christian on Tuesday afternoon and swept the doubles competition. Galloway and Towning won 8–0 on the first court. Alex Bayer and her sister, sophomore Chloe Bayer, played together and won 8–5, while sophomore Fiona Jenkins and ninth-grader Aerin Borden won 8–2 on court 3. Singles play saw wins by seniors Towning, Galloway and Strauss, as well as by junior Ameya Bellamkonda and ninth-grader Allison Preble. The Cavs won 8–1 and will be back on the court at Cary Academy on Friday at 4:15 p.m.
DA volleyball has played five matches in the last five days, including four games at a North Raleigh Christian Academy tournament last weekend. The team faced Westminster Christian, an undefeated team from Miami, Florida, on Friday night and lost in two sets, 25–14 and 25–19. Next up, the Cavs played Covenant Day from Matthews and won 25–9 and 25–23 to win the match 2–0. On the second day of the NRCA tournament, DA faced Apex High School. The team lost the first set, rallied to win the second but could not hold on for the third set and eventually lost 2–1. In the second match of the day, DA faced Cannon for the second time this season, and won 2–0 to end the tournament 2–2.
On Tuesday evening, the Cavaliers hosted North Raleigh Christian, which is ranked No. 2 in the High School OT East standings. The Knights started off strong to take a 7-point lead and maintained control to win the first set 25–13. After three straight kills from senior Millie Loehr to close the gap to 2 points in the second set, NRCA ultimately won 25–11. The Cavs remained competitive in the third set with the serve of sophomore Gabby Marchese and senior Adriana Kim’s digs, but after a back-and-forth match, NRCA came out on top 25–19. The Knights ended the evening 3–0.
The Cavs will return to the court on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Cary Academy.