CHARLOTTE – The last time Myers Park played East Chapel Hill in field hockey, it was a 4-0 Wildcat win that determined the 2015 state championship.
The game was a bitter end to a good season for the Mustangs, who had gone 16-6 and reached the title game with the help of a talented freshman, Megan Frost.
She had played so well during her 2015 season Mustang coach Erica Adcock named Frost the MVP of the team, a rarity for a freshman.
“She provided us so much with her skill and just the things she could do that she was already our best player,” Adcock said.
Myers Park made it unscathed to the title game, but weather forced a nearly week-long postponement of the championship match.
On the day it was rescheduled to, Frost had already committed to joining her high-level travel soccer team at matches in Arizona and missed the game.
The win was the Wildcats eighth straight N.C. Field Hockey Association title, but after the Mustang loss to East Chapel Hill that day, Frost and the seven other seniors on the team have been brilliant, changing the landscape of field hockey state-wide.
The Mustangs went 19-2 and defeated Chapel Hill 5-0 in the finals the following season. Last season, Myers Park was 18-3 and defeated Charlotte Catholic 3-0 to repeat as champions.
But this season, from the beginning, was different.
“I think from the first day of preseason practice we felt we could do something special this year,” Adcock said.
And they did.
The Mustangs had been 0-7 all-time against Charlotte Latin, the private-school power who just wrapped up their fourth straight NCISAA title.
But Myers Park beat them for the first time ever, earning a 1-0 win in August and a 2-1 victory in September. That, along with a pre-season scrimmage, were the only games the high-scoring Mustangs didn’t win by more than one goal.
In the playoffs, the Mustangs were overwhelming as they overpowered East Forsyth (winning 10-0), Mount Tabor (10-0) and Chapel Hill (6-0) to reach the title game.
But those close game experiences proved vital, as old rival East Chapel Hill awaited hoping to win their 10th title over the past 15 seasons.
“We spoke about the Latin game as we headed up to the final,” Adcock said. “We also had a preseason game that we won 3-2 in overtime over Northlake Academy who won the Virginia private-school championship last year. We had that and the two one-goal Latin wins to reference to. We knew we could battle and fight when we were matched skill wise.”
The championship game was close, with Myers Park winning 1-0 to take their third straight title and wrap up their first-ever unbeaten season with a 19-0 record.
“Our opponent was strong and it wasn’t our best game of the season at all,” Adcock said. “But to fight through that and overcome that and still make it happen says a lot about the girls. To be able to come away with a win where the skill level and the talent are the same and not play our best is a testament to these girls.
“The pressure to win from us and the expectations from everyone were very high, so that was difficult, too.”
The other cool part has to be the goal, which of course was scored by Frost who has signed to play at Stanford.
This season, Frost had 34 goals and 25 assists and ended her Mustang career with 115 goals and 85 assists.
She’ll go down as one of the all-time greats in the state, and Adcock said it was a fitting end having her score the winner.
“To play them again in her senior season and for her to have the game winner in a tight game kind of made it all come full circle,” she said. “It kind of capped off a great season and a great career for her. It was special.”
Frost was a first-team all-state selection, but just one of many to receive accolades for their season.
Caroline Wick was second-team all-state. Caroline Page, Sarah Minges and Sarah Perkinson were first-team all-conference and Kate Hinshaw, Mason Harkleroad and Ella Page were all second-team all-conference.
Goalkeepers Caroline Bailey, a Converse College recruit, and Jennie Douglas helped lead a defense that allowed four goals – four! – all season.
“I’m incredibly proud of this group,” Adcock said. “I don’t think we expected to be undefeated, but the goal was a third straight title with our chemistry and talent on the team. This was by far the strongest team I’ve coached so far, but I’m proud of the way we did it not just that we did it. The camradoire, chemistry and fun that we had this year was a complete joy to be a part of. I’ll miss this group.”
Adcock will lose eight seniors, but says Myers Park hopes to be in position next fall to make it four straight.
“We have some key returners coming back,” she said. “We lose a strong senior class with especially Megan Frost, Caroline Page and Caroline Wick on the field, but also we lose their leadership. However, we have Sarah Menges in the midfield, Sarah Perkinson on the front line and Jennie Douglas in goal among others. It will be a different style and we won’t be able to score as easily without Megan, but we’re not rebuilding. We will continue to stay very competitive and we should be good again.”