Published: Nov 04, 2012 12:52 PM
Modified: Nov 05, 2012 12:13 PM
CHAPEL HILL - No. 9-ranked Chapel Hill and Carrboro were both on hot streaks heading into this weekend's second round of the NCHSAA soccer payoffs.
Carrboro won for the 12th time in 14 matches last Wednesday when the Jaguars blanked Graham 5-0. Luke Hickey scored two goals, and Nico Krachenfels, Mike McPeak and Garrett Parker had one each as Carrboro (14-6-3) won by shutout for the third straight time.
Also Wednesday, Chapel Hill (19-5-1) extended its unbeaten steak to eight games with a dramatic 1-0 win against Southwestern Randolph.
Chapel Hill looked as if it might be headed into overtime against the Cougars (14-4-1) before sophomore midfielder Connor Albrecht scored with 1:56 left in the match. Ben Fisher started the play with a long ball across the penalty area, deflected by a defender as he attempted to clear it, and Albrecht volleyed a sidewinder kick from the edge of the box for his sixth goal of the season.
"It was a great goal," Chapel Hill coach Ron Benson said. "So many people come under the ball when they come around on it like that, but he hit it perfectly."
Wednesday's game was the continuation of a match started Tuesday night that stopped abruptly when the Tiger field lights blew for the third time this fall the second time in a match. Play resumed Wednesday with the teams tied 0-0 and with 10 minutes left on the clock for the first half.
Chapel Hill outshot SW Randolph 15-7 but stymied most of the way by a Cougar team that played way above expectations.
"We threw a good scare into them," Cougar coach Bill Winkle said without a trace of irony as dusk settled on Halloween.
The Cougars, who have yet to win a playoff game in their six years as varsity program, were leading the Mid-Piedmont Conference until the last week of the regular season, when two losses dropped them one game out of first and a half-game behind second place.
"You have to like that team," Benson said. "They're a lot better than a 3-seed."
Chapel Hill goalkeeper Justus Heizer needed just two saves to record Chapel Hill's 12th shutout in 25 matches. Veteran backs Luke Ciocca and Chandler Weedon, along with freshman John Walden consistently kept the Cougars out of the box.
Chapel Hill was missing senior captain Brady Strine in back out with a broken collar bone suffered Oct. 24 against Cardinal Gibbons as well as junior defender Paul Miller , who withdrew from Wednesday's match after an old joint injury resurfaced.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner.