East Chapel Hill finally had a chance to do something last week that its soccer team had wanted to do for a long, long time. That’s practice.
With all the rain this spring and rescheduled games crammed into recent weeks, the Wildcats haven’t had much time to get out on the practice field. And head coach Austin Collins thought they could use the work.
“We’ve only had three goals scored on us this season, and two of them were set pieces,” Collins said after a 3-0 PAC-6 win last Monday at Northern Durham. “Now that we’ve got some practice time, we’re going to work on that.”
Monday’s game provided a wake-up call for the Wildcats (11-1-1, 8-0-0 PAC).
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Beaten 5-0 just four days before on East Chapel Hill’s home field, Northern’s Ladies (5-5-0, 3-2-0) thought they had tied the game at 1-1 off a corner kick in the eighth minute, but a linesman ruled the lofted ball had curled over the end line before arching back into play.
“We scored just minutes into the game, and we weren’t taking Northern lightly, but we may have relaxed a little bit and thought everything was going to be easy,” Collins said. “Northern always plays us tough, especially at home, so that was a good wakeup call for us.”
Almost as bad for the Wildcats, they tried eight corner kicks themselves in the second half and didn’t get a good shot off any of them, let alone a goal.
East’s Sierra Lindquist assisted on the game’s first goal, scored by Brynn Donnelly just three minutes into the contest at Armstrong-Hill Soccer Stadium. Donnelly in turn assisted on a goal by Lindquist in the 68th minute.
Neely Holroyd added a goal for East Chapel Hill on a free kick with 24.8 seconds left after she was tripped just outside the arc of the penalty area.
Lindquist added two more goals in a 9-0 win Wednesday at Person, giving her a team-high 13.
And East scored twice on corners in Roxboro, both started by Claudia Sollee and finished by Hunter Pearce and Caelen DeMuth.
DeMuth had two goals at Person, while Callie Williams, Susannah Lohman, Mia Colloredo and Leah Steiner each added one. Brynn Donnelly notched her team-high ninth assist of the season. Cinzia Bai, Mandy Feldman and Simone Speizer each assisted on one goal.
Wednesday’s win maintained the Wildcats’ lead over Durham Jordan (10-3-1, 5-1-0) and third-place Northern in the PAC-6 standings.
East hosts Hillside on Monday before traveling Wednesday for its regular-season finale at Jordan. The Falcons haven’t lost a conference game at home since East Chapel Hill defeated the Falcon 3-0 to win the 2012 PAC-6 title.
East rescheduled last week’s rained-out home game against Chapel Hill for Thursday.