Two conference championships will be on the line in separate soccer matches Wednesday night when Chapel Hill hosts Cardinal Gibbons and East Chapel Hill plays at Durham Jordan.
Ranked No. 4 in the state, Chapel Hill could lock up the Big Eight Conference title for a second straight year if the Tigers (15-4-1) can top No. 5-ranked Gibbons (18-1-1).
Chapel Hill, which finished undefeated in Big Eight games last year, was 12-0-0 in this season’s league matches heading into Tuesday game at Northern Vance (8-8-2, 4-8-0).
Gibbons is 12-1-0 in Big Eight matches heading into Wednesday’s meeting with Chapel Hill, which is scheduled for a 6:45 p.m. kickoff at Tiger Field.
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“Our players know what’s at stake,” Chapel Hill coach Jason Curtis said.
Chapel Hill has defeated Gibbons three straight times, but the Crusaders have won seven consecutive matches — three by shutout — since losing 4-2 Sept. 29 in Raleigh to Chapel Hill.
“They’re always a state powerhouse, and they always play good soccer,” Curtis said. “I’m sure they’ll be chomping at the bit after our win the first time we played.”
Despite its streak in league games, Chapel Hill has lost two times in its previous five matches: to Carrboro and East Chapel Hill.
No. 3-ranked Carrboro became the only team this season to shut out Chapel Hill when it downed the Tigers 1-0 on Oct. 10.
The Jaguars improved to 17-2-1 with Tuesday night’s 3-0 win at East Chapel Hill.
Carrboro locked up another conference crown last week and, at 9-0-0 in Mid-State games, will be trying to complete an undefeated run through the league table when it hosts Reidsville at 6 p.m. on Thursday evening.
East Chapel Hill (11-4-1) won 4-3 last Friday at Chapel Hill, becoming the only team this season to score four goals against the Tigers.
“East came to play with something extra Friday night,” Curtis said. “It was a great game.”
Not including Tuesday’s loss to Carrboro, East won five straight after its 2-1 loss Oct. 6 against Jordan. The Wildcats carry a 6-1 league record into Wednesday’s PAC-6 finale at Jordan (12-5-0, 7-0-0).
The match is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m.
Jordan is ranked No. 11 in the Triangle by the News & Observer, while East Chapel Hill is ranked No. 12. The two schools have split or shared the last three PAC-6 championships.
East finds itself in the same situation as Cardinal Gibbons, needing to win the last game of its regular season to force a playoff for the conference crown and the top seed for the state tournament that goes with the title.