The Pumpkin Shootout is one of North Carolina's longest running fall events. Originally started by a group of dedicated parents who so the who saw future for the sport in North Carolina. The 2018 edition of the 7v7 (5v5 for the youth). And, after two full seasons of coverage, we bundled up and headed to Efland to jump-start our coverage of the girls game for the 2018/19 year! Ladies, we owe you a huge apology because we have missed out on a LOT of great lacrosse!
The Pumpkin Shootout proved itself to be one of the premiere 7v7 youth events for girls in the fall. Over 70 teams competed in the tournament, over half of them (40) were high school teams. When it was all said and done Crusaders Gold (Cardinal Gibbons) won the high school A (Varsity) division, and Boo 2022 (East Chapel Hill/Ravenscroft) won the high school B (JV) division.
In the high school division we saw several players/teams that looked to be well on their way for the spring season. Defending state champs
Broughton looked fast and athletic in the 7v7 format lead by Margret-Ann Warner and Greer Eckard pushing transition and finishing strong. I was impressed with their goalie play, as well.
Durham Academy showed well behind the play of Anna West and Charlotte Easley. The two aggressive dodgers will be a tough combo to cover in the spring.
Cardinal Gibbons looks ready to reload for another title run. Saw several athletic attackers and defenders across all of their teams including Catherine Fields, Caroline Kimmel, Bailey Much and Kate Wozencroft. Saw two very good options to replace 3-year stater Gabby Young in net.
Athens Drive and Apex Friendship both showed a lot of promise. The jaguars will be anchored again by Carsin Gronbach as they look to improve from 2018. The Patriots were highlighted by some excellent goal keeping and sparks of offensive power. Between their two teams it looks like they may have a great mix of young blood and veterans. If they can get them to gel could be a great season for Pats.
Panther Creek looked poised to make another run at a conference championship. Several players made some very nice plays. They made it to the semi finals losing by just one goal to a very stout Hoggard group.
Players from Jordan, Apex, and Ravenscroft showed well on mixed-school teams. Will be interesting to see if those pieces mix well with their high school teams in the spring.
What we loved most about the Pumpkin Shootout was how much FUN it was. There was a DJ, jousting, games, sumo wrestling, and much more. It was great to attend an event where the players were relaxed, no one was recruiting, and high school teams got a chance to come out and start the bonding process before the Spring 2019 campaign. Needless to say, we are excited to see how the seeds sowed this weekend blossom in the Spring. And you can be sure you'll see more coverage of HS girls this spring than in our previous first two seasons! And that it will be much more timely than this coverage!
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