Shannon Wulff may be just a ninth-grader but she sure doesn't play like a varsity newcomer.
The Chapel Hill attacker scored two of her team's final three goals as the undefeated Tigers overcame an 8-7 deficit to knock off area rival East Chapel Hill 10-8 Tuesday on its home field.
Wulff ripped a shot into top center of the goal with 5:10 remaining and added another tally with just over a minute left to stymie the Wildcats hopes for an upset as they fell to 0-2 overall, 0-2 in NCHSAA Conference V matches.
“We moved the ball really well throughout the match,” Wulff said. “We got our passing game going even more down low to create scoring chances in the final minutes.”
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Chapel Hill (4-0, 2-0 conference) had a battle on its hands, with East even taking a one-goal lead with just under six minutes remaining. East was hamstrung by penalties, competing down by two players in much of the final 10 minutes.
Senior defender Helen Gaynes, who sandwiched a goal in between Wulff's two late scores, liked her team's effort and attitude.
“Our intensity was there throughout,” Gaynes said. “We all meshed pretty well together out there too.”
East had reason for optimism as well, sticking with Chapel Hill until the closing minutes. Senior middie Sarah Towne flashed some nifty footwork before depositing a shot into the goal late in the opening half for a 4-4 tie.
East continued its momentum coming out of the break, scoring just 27 seconds in as senior middie Marissa Creatore whipped a shot into the goal from in-close for a 5-4 advantage.
East coach Emily Sternbach liked how her team responded throughout the contest.
“We have a really good team and we're getting better each time out,” Sternbach said. “We have lots of talent and we're proving to be pretty strong competitors.”
Chapel Hill coach Dan Segal could say the same after his team lost its top offensive player, junior middie Paige Haskins, to a possible head injury late in the opening half. Segal said Haskins reported feeling better after coming out of the game, though she will see the team's trainer Wednesday as a precaution.
“Playing our arch-rival is always a real test and we knew it was going to be a competitive match,” Segal said. “Fortunately we got contributions from several players to be able to win.”