Published: Oct 01, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Oct 01, 2012 11:02 AM
CARRBORO - Unfazed by a narrow loss to No. 1-ranked and undefeated 1A N.C. Science & Math the previous week, Carrboro High School got on track last week toward its goal of winning the Carolina-12 Conference’s top seed for its 2A teams.
Carrboro won its first two matches against Carolina 2A teams to improve to 6-5-2 overall. The Jaguars were 4-3-0 in Carolina-12 play, but more importantly 2-0 versus 2A rivals.
The melded conference sends teams into both the NCHSAA 1A and 2A postseason tournaments, seeded by their records against league opponents in their respective classifications.
Carrboro blew out South Granville 6-0 on Monday and then had to survive a mistake in the opening minutes Wednesday night against Northwood to pull out a 2-1 conference win.
“People may say Chapel Hill and East (Chapel Hill) are our natural rivals, but Northwood is our real rival,” said Carrboro’s Mike McPeak, who scored the game-winning goal with 22:20 left to play in Wednesday’s match.
He noted it was Carrboro’s sixth straight win over the Chargers. “I love suiting up against these guys.”
Northwood (6-5-2, 2-2-0) scored just 1:04 into the match after earning a corner kick after just three touches on the ball. The corner from Pedro Ramos slipped through the outstretched hands of leaping Carrboro goalkeeper Murat Calikoglu and bounced in front of onrushing forward Jordan Tingen right at the touchline; Tingen chested the ball into the goal for a 1-0 Northwood lead.
Carrboro outshot the Chargers 28-7 the rest of the way, but had trouble scoring from the run of play as Northwood packed all 11 players into their defensive third for most of the remaining 78 minutes.
Thar Thwai supplied the equalizer on a penalty kick in the 10th minute after he was pushed down inside the box at the 30:06 mark. Carrboro got the go-ahead goal on a corner kick from Luke Hickey to the far post, where McPeak ran onto it at full speed and one-timed it into the net.
“Unquestionably this was Mike McPeak’s best game of the year,” Carrboro coach Mark Kadlecik said. “And Thar really just takes people on his back and creates great stuff for us.”
Northwood coach Kevin Tanceusz said Northwood has “struggled all year” with set plays.
“Set plays killed us tonight. It’s definitely something we need to improve on,” Tanceusz said. “But not allowing a goal through the run of play is in my eyes a pretty decent thing.”
It didn’t diminish the value of the win for Carrboro.
“This was a big one for us,” Kadlecik said after Wednesday’s win, the Jaguars’ fourth in six matches. The Jaguars play 2A conference rival Durham School of the Arts, ranked No. 8 in the state, on Wednesday.
“I was a little disappointed in the first goal, but we showed good resiliency to get the first and second. I’m proud of the fact that we fought back to get the lead and then held the lead, which is something we haven’t always done this year.”CHHS, East win season’s first conference games
Chapel Hill improved to 10-4-0 overall last week by winning its first two Carolina 3A Conference games: 7-2 at Orange on Tuesday and 9-0 over Southern Vance on Wednesday. That extended the No. 11-ranked Tigers’ current win streak to five matches, with a conference match coming up Monday at Oxford Webb (1-7-0).
Nate Hebert led the Tigers’ scoring last week with four goals and an assist — two goals in each game.
Matej Vidic also scored twice against Orange, while Ben Fisher had one goal and assisted on three others. Cole Shoup and John Walden each scored one goal against the Panthers (1-8-3).
Orange got goals from Edgar Asuncion and Silas Anderson.
Wednesday, CHHS also got one goal each from Chandler Weedon, Alex Walker, Brady Strine, Salomon Ariza and keeper Justus Heizer. Coach Ron Benson allowed his Tigers to attempt goals only with headers for much of the second half. Southern Vance gave up two “own goals” in the match.
Elsewhere, No. 4 East Chapel Hill improved to 7-1-2 overall, 3-0-1 in the PAC-6 with a 7-3 win Monday over Southern Durham (7-6-0). The Wildcats host winless Person on Monday.