CATS CLAW BACK
Game recognized game Thursday night when the East Chapel Hill girls’ soccer team duked it out with Carrboro’s squad for a 1-1 non-conference draw.
ECH is a 4-A school jockeying with Jordan for regular-season supremacy in the PAC-6. The league fate of those two teams, expected to finish as co-champions, likely will be determined by the flip of a coin, ECH coach Jared Drexler said.
Jordan and ECH have failed to score in a pair of draws this season. Neither has lost a conference match.
The Jaguars, a Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference juggernaut, are the defending 2-A state champs, and they were state runners-up prior to that.
In other words, the Jags are better than some of the 3-A and 4-A teams in this state, so getting out of Carrboro with a tie was about right, Drexler said.
“They’re a good team. Credit to them. We feel like we’re just as good as them, and 1-1 seems like a fair result,” Drexler said.
Carrboro scored early in the game when Breighton Magee set up Kenza Araba’s net flick.
“That was a great serve from Breighton,” Carrboro coach Mark Kadlecik said. “Kenza did a great job getting a good first touch and tucked it away.”
Carrboro was closing in on a win when the Wildcats came back. ECH’s Lauren Douglass delivered a good ball to Emma Daum, who sent it to the back of the net with a shade under seven minutes left in the match.
“We treated this like a playoff game. We wanted that kind of win-or-go-home (mentality),” Drexler said. “It’s a good warm-up. This is probably the best competition that we’ll see before the playoffs — no disrespect to the teams we’ve got next week.”
For whatever reason, the Wildcats have had a tough time putting together two solid halves of soccer, Drexler said.
“I think it’s the tale of our season,” Drexler said. “We seem to play one half stronger, usually the second half. I don’t know if it’s my halftime speeches or what.”
Kadlecik, who was East’s girls’ coach last season — he also did double duty, coaching the Carrboro boys to second place in the state 2-A championships in the fall — said the injury bug bit the Jaguars.
“We don’t want to point fingers, but we had an injury to Leah Simon that kind of hurt,” Kadlecik said. “We only carry 13, 14 players, now we’re down to even less. Her going out hurt. She didn’t have a concussion, but she’s had one before. She took some precautionary measures. That only left us with two subs. East was bringing numbers forward, and we were trying to fight it off, and unfortunately we didn’t get it.”
ECH might have slipped out of town with a win if Carrboro goalie Benedike Turner hadn’t gone nearly parallel to the ground to keep the Wildcats out of the net.
“For us to get challenged like this late in the season is fantastic,” Kadlecik said. “That was a playoff game.”
ECH 1, Carrboro 1
E. Chapel Hill 0 1—1
Carrboro 1 0—1
Goals — East Chapel Hill, Emma Daum; Carrboro, Kenza Araba. Assists — ECH, Lauren Douglass; Carrboro, Breighton Magee. Shots — ECH 10, Carrboro 5. Saves— ECH 3 (Riley Foster 3); Carrboro 7 (Benedike Turner 7).
Records — East Chapel Hill 9-4-4; Carrboro 14-2-2.