Chapel Hill girls win 3-A Eastern Regional soccer title
The goal all along for Chapel Hill has been to send Coach Ron Benson into retirement with a state championship.
Things are going according to script, the most recent episode ending with Chapel Hill snatching a 2-0 road win for the Eastern Regional 3-A title at Wilson Fike Tuesday.
Chapel Hill will play the winner of tonight’s 7:30 p.m. game between Waxhaw Cuthbertson (15-5-3) and Matthews Weddington (19-2-1) at 2:05 p.m. Saturday at N.C. State’s Dail Soccer Stadium near Reynolds Coliseum for the state championship.
“Benson’s been here for so long,” Chapel Hill senior Alex Kimball said. “He definitely deserves a state championship before he heads out.”
Chapel Hill’s fight with Fike generated a high volume of first-half shots, yet no goals.
Fike’s field is big and wide. That’s why there were so many shots, Benson said.
In the second half, Fike goalie E.J. Proctor entered a ball battle with Mia Spencer and used the opportunity to put the Chapel Hill junior in a headlock.
Things were getting testy.
But there still were no goals until Kimball got her own rebound, stayed with it and stuck a shot past Proctor with 13:49 left in the match.
“She put it where E.J. couldn’t get to it, which was in the side panel. Nothing you can do about that,” Fike coach Toni Varacchi said.
Fike fans all night had been giving Kimball an earful during corner kicks, but she got the last word.
“In those situations, you just have to keep your cool. You have to be the mature player,” Kimball said. “There is a little Duke-Carolina rivalry with me and E.J.
“She’s going to Duke. I’m going to Carolina.”
Kimball said she and Proctor play on the same club team.
“We had a couple of good looks, just couldn’t put it away,” Varacchi said. “That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes.”
Chapel Hill got a tremendous bounce with less than two minutes left in the match. Proctor was way out of position trying to send the ball downfield, Benson said. The ball landed by Spencer, who put her foot in it for a loping score.
Fike had to scramble and figure out something in a hurry. But 1:00 on the clock became 0:01 until only zeroes decorated the scoreboard for the Tigers, who’ll try to do it again this weekend.
“We’re going to play well and see what the soccer gods come up with,” Benson said.
NCHSAA 3-A EASTERN REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Chapel Hill 2, Wilson Fike 0
Chapel Hill 0 2 — 2
Wilson Fike 0 0 — 0
GOALS — Chapel Hill, Alex Kimball, Mia Spencer.
Shots —Chapel Hill 15, Fike 11. Saves — Chapel Hill 9, Aylee Whitesides 6, Madeline Mesaros 3; Fike 9, E.J. Proctor 9.
Records —Chapel Hill 22-1; Fike 21-3-1.