Down 1-0 in the first five minutes of Wednesday’s game at Barringer Field, Durham’s Jordan High School rallied behind goals from Briana Pinto and Harper Ellis for a 2-1 win that gave East Chapel Hill its only conference loss of the year in girls soccer.
Pinto scored with 12:27 left in the first half after collecting a long pass from Natasha Pate over the top of the Wildcat defense. Pinto outran the Wildcat defenders into the penalty area and neatly slotted the ball inside the far post for a 1-1 tie.
“It was kind of intimidating at some points, but we all knew we could come back and score,” Pinto said.
Jordan out-shot East Chapel Hill 9-0 in the first 20 minutes of the second half before Pinto slammed a hard shot at the goal from 25 yards out. East’s goalkeeper dove flat out to knock away the ball, but Ellis was waiting at the 6-yard box to poke in the rebound for a 2-1 margin with 18:59 remaining to play.
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The win for Jordan, which was ranked No. 9 this week by the News & Observer, was the Falcons’ sixth straight since a 2-1 loss at No.4-ranked East Chapel Hill (13-2-1, 9-1-0 PAC).
One night after defeating East, Jordan played a previously postponed game at home against Northern Durham (6-8-0, 4-6-0 PAC) and won, agan by a 2-1 score. That left Jordan with a record of 14-3-1 overall, 9-1-0 PAC.
Jordan had defeated Northern 6-0 just four days before, on May 4, in a road game.
Jordan’s first-year head coach Mary Napier said she would prefer playing a tiebreaker game with East Chapel Hill, but that would create a fourth game in one week for the Falcons, which is prohibited by NCHSAA regulations. Teams had to report their final records Saturday to the NCHSAA for the beginning of the seeding process for the upcoming state tournament.
East Chapel Hill won a coin flip at a meeting of the league’s coaches on Friday to get the conference’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs, while Jordan ended up No. 2. The NCHSAA is expected to announce pairings on May 11.
East Chapel Hill was in the driver’s seat to clinch the conference’s championship outright after a goal by Caelen Demuth barely 3 minutes into Wednesday’s game. Demuth ran onto a ball chipped by Callie Williams in between Jordan’s goalkeeper and the Falcons’ back defender. Demuth slotted the shot for a 1-0 East lead.
“That was a very unlucky goal,” Napier said. “It was just something we had to shake off.”
Williams later left the game with a twisted ankle, one of three East Chapel Hill seniors to miss much of the action.
East’s top goal scorer (with 14), Sierra Lindquist, took a shot to the face in the game’s 38th minute and, despite her protests, was deemed by Jordan’s trainer to be unfit to continue playing. Emma Daum, East’s leader in points with 10 goals and 11 assists, stayed out of the lineup, nursing a strained thigh muscle, until the game’s 52nd minute.
“We didn’t call for a trainer, but the Jordan trainer came out and gave Sierra a concussion test,” East Chapel Hill coach Austin Collins said. “She decided there was no concussion, but then decided Sierra couldn’t play the rest of the night.
“Sierra thought she could continue, but the trainer said she couldn’t.”