Chapel Hill girls advance to 3-A state soccer semifinals

May. 24, 2014 @ 09:30 PM

No. 9 seed Chapel Hill overcame a 1-nil first-half deficit with three second-half goals to beat No. 5 seed Swanboro 3-1 Saturday night in the state 3-A girls’ soccer quarterfinals.

The Tigers will face No. 2 seed Wilson Fike on the road at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Eastern Regional title game and the winner of that game will play for the state title.

Swansboro (19-5) got on the board with 22:20 left in the first half on a goal by Kimmi Moore and held that lead into halftime.

Chapel Hill coach Ron Benson, coaching for the final season before retirement, changed goalies for the start of the second half, going with Kaitlin Hendershot in place of Aylee Whitesides, who stopped two of the three shots she faced in the opening period.

Hendershot didn’t face a shot on goal in the second half, but the Tigers peppered Swansboro’s netminder.

Mia Spencer got things even for Chapel Hill (21-1) with 29:15 to play on a controversial goal. She took a crossing pass from Sofie Nielsen and Spencer’s shot appeared to have been cleared at the goal by a Swansboro defender, but the officials ruled it a goal, saying it crossed the line before it was kicked out.

That opened the floodgates for Chapel Hill.

Frances Reuland followed with a goal off a Meg Testen assist at the 25:50 mark and Megan Dell added a third goal off an Alex Kimball assist at the 22:49 mark.

Benson said the only adjustment he made at halftime was to tell the team to “knock the ball around, because that’s our game.”

Benson added: “We were playing like Swansboro, hitting it long, and that’s not our game.”