Soccer: Chapel Hill 3, East Chapel Hill 0:
Published: Sep 09, 2012 05:06 PM
Modified: Sep 09, 2012 05:12 PM
Chapel Hill High School wasn’t about to let this soccer match slip away. Up 1-0 on East Chapel Hill less than three weeks before, CHHS saw East rally with two goals to pull off a minor upset on the Tigers’ home field.
Wednesday night at Wildcat Stadium, in a game delayed one night because of storms in the area, Chapel Hill got on top in the first half and stayed there for a 3-0 victory over previously undefeated East.
Nate Hebert scored twice in the last 12:50 of the first half, his first goal coming off an assist from Ben Fisher, and Matej Vidic added a third goal early in the second half.
It was the fourth shutout in 10 matches for Chapel Hill (6-4-0). Justus Heizer made five saves in goal for CHHS. “Justus Heizer had an excellent game,” Chapel Hill coach Ron Benson said. “He came out of the box when he needed to; he stayed put when he needed to; he punched out when he needed to.
“And Chandler Weedon and Luke Ciocca cleaned up nicely in back when they had to.”
It was also the first loss for East Chapel Hill (4-1-0), rated No. 3 in the most recent News & Observer- area rankings and No. 2 in the state’s coaches’ poll. Chapel Hill, ranked as high as No. 10 by the N&O, dropped out of the top 15 after its fourth loss, a 2-1 decision Aug. 31 with New Hanover.
“I think everyone was a little disappointed we lost that fourth game,” Benson said, noting the same Chestnut Hill (Pa.) Academy that CHHS spanked 5-1 went to Wilmington and defeated New Hanover 3-2.
Much like the previous loss to East, Chapel Hill had a 1-0 lead on 4A New Hanover before giving up two goals in the final five minutes. “We weren’t getting 100 percent out of our players 100 percent of the time. We understand now that even good teams can lose if they don’t finish. I think it’s starting to sink in that everyone has to play hard all the time.”
Chapel Hill never let up in last week’s win at East Chapel Hill. Within the first five minutes, the Tigers had three chances inside East’s defensive third and got off two shots on goal. East outshot Chapel Hill 14-10 overall, but that proved costly as CHHS scored its first two goals on counter attacks.
In the 29th minute, CHHS defender Weedon played a long ball forward to Fisher who sent it to Hebert, who received it just outside the penalty area, edged past a defender and right-footed a shot just outside the six-yard box for a 1-0 lead. With 1:37 left in the first half, Hebert scored again after getting a ball in the corner from Fisher and beating his defender inside before getting off a low shot into the middle.
With center back Luka Vujaskovic out because of violating team rules, East had trouble reorganizing in the back. “They got it in early on us,” East Chapel Hill coach Austin Collins said. “The longer we went without a goal, the more frustrated we got.”
Vidic took advantage of East’s problems in back in the first five minutes of the second half, gettingloose inside the penalty area and firing a hard shot that the East keeper blocked but couldn’t collect. Vidic pounced before the ball could roll over the end line flicking it from just off the post into the net.
“Finishing is good,” Benson said. “We had a lot of chances in earlier games where our goal percentage should have been higher. We got it going at East Chapel Hill. “If we can play like that consistently, we should be able to do well this season and in the playoffs.”
Next: The Wildcats play Monday at Durham Jordan (4-1-1). Chapel Hill plays Tuesday at Cedar Ridge (1-2-1).