NCHSAA 2A Soccer championship:
Published: Nov 20, 2012 06:56 PM
Modified: Nov 21, 2012 01:12 PM
RALEIGH - Carrboro head coach Mark Kadlecik stood by himself at Dail Stadium, with Saturday night’s cold getting colder and the dark getting darker.
The staff at North Carolina’s State University’s soccer facility were ready to turn off the lights, and Kadlecik was the last man to leave the field.
He was ready to go, too, as his players packed up for the bus ride home, but Kadlecik still had reporters to deal with after Saturday’s 4-1 loss to Cuthbertson in the 2012 N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A state championship final.
The Cavalier boys’ victory matched the 2011 girls’ title won by Cuthbertson with a 1-0 decision against Carrboro. Carrboro avenged that last spring by winning the 2012 girls’ championship.
“We started this season at 5-6-2 and here we are in the state finals. That’s a pretty amazing thing to happen,” Kadlecik said. “The thing that stings is that we controlled play most of the game.”
Appearing in the boys’ 2A final for the second straight year, Carrboro (18-7-3) had a 21-8 advantage in shots Saturday, with nine on-goal to Cuthbertson’s six, but it was finishing that counted, Cuthbertson coach Nelson Garner noted.
“Carrboro had the better part of play for most of the game,” Garner said. “But soccer is a game where you have to take advantage of your chances, and our guys certainly did a splendid job of finishing their chances.”
Cuthbertson struck on its first shot. Sophomore defender Travis Whitt served a corner kick into a clump of players in the six-yard box, from where a leaping Michael Proctor headed it in for a 1-0 Cavalier lead just 4:24 into the match.
In the second half, Thomas Vigdor scored twice and Obi Collins once apiece — to help Cuthbertson (23-3-2) win its first NCHSAA 2A boys soccer title.
Carrboro controlled possession most of the remaining 35 minutes before the break and outshot the Cavaliers 12-2 in the game’s first half. The Jaguars had four looks at the goal in the first 10 minutes of the second half, including a solid shot in the 47th minute by Thar Thwai from just inside the arc that Cavalier goalkeeper Jack Sosinski bobbled before smothering.
In the 50th minute, Mike McPeak got a head on a corner kick from Luke Hickey, but Sosinski saved it cleanly.
Carrboro’s pressure finally paid off in the 59th minute, when defender Alex Callaham collected a ball far out on the right wing and fired it from 27 yards out to the far post for the equalizer with 21:22 left in regulation.
The Jaguars missed a clear chance for a go-ahead goal in he 63rd minute when Thwai, fighting off the pain of an ankle sprained in the state semifinals, slid a ball across the six – just beyond the foot of a wide-open Marc Rovner.
Cuthbertson found the game-winner with 15:02 left to play. David Moll centered a ball to Jason Drain, whose mis-hit shot slithered over to Vigdor’s feet, just off the far post. Vigdor slammed it in for a 2-1 lead.
With Carrboro moving everyone forward, the Cavaliers’ Collins supplied an insurance goal off an assist by Evan Martinez with 5:09 left to play, and Vigdor applied the coup de grace with 2:52 remaining as Cuthbertson sealed its 12th straight win.
“I could throw every cliché out there – that soccer is a cruel game … blah blah blah,” Kadlecik said. “But the fact is that we did a lot of good things tonight, but giving up a goal in the first five minutes really set us back.”