Cardinal Gibbons doesn’t appear to be ready to relinquish its hold on the PAC-6 Conference soccer championship just yet.
With the 2016 PAC-6 soccer title almost within its grasp, Jordan was stunned by two Cardinal Gibbons goals in the first 10 minutes of play Monday night and ended up on the wrong end of a 4-3 Crusader victory.
Sophomore Dylan Lane scored twice as Cardinal Gibbons (12-2-3 overall, 7-1-1 PAC-6) won its fourth straight and closed the gap in the conference race with league-leading Jordan (11-6-0, 9-1-0). Ranked No. 11 by the News & Observer, the Falcons not only lost for the first time this season in PAC-6 play, their winning streak was snapped at 10.
“We still need a little help catching Jordan,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Tim Healy said, noting that Jordan could still take the title by winning its last two PAC-6 games at home – against Riverside (12-5, 5-3) Wednesday and Hillside (1-10-1, 0-10-1) on Oct. 24.
Jordan had won the first meeting between the conference’s top two teams, 3-2 at Cardinal Gibbons on Sept. 19, in a game in which the Crusaders played a man down much of the time because of a red card. That was part of the string of 10 wins the Falcons reeled off after back-to-back, 5-2 losses to Green Hope and Heritage.
Jordan also had not given up a goal in its two games before Monday, beating PAC-6 rival Northern Durham 4-0 and then Southern Durham 9-0 in a nonconference match.
“I think we’re finding out finishing touch, which is the one thing we struggled with for much of the year,” Healy said. “Tonight, putting four (goals) away really helped us.”
3:31 – Cardinal Gibbons jumped on a defensive error by Jordan’s back line when a wing centered a ball across the top of the penalty area in an attempt to clear. The Falcons’ center fullback slipped, and Dylan Lane ran onto the ball in full stride, hammering it from 23 yards out, high past the onrushing goalkeeper. Gibbons 1, Jordan 0.
9:38 – After Jordan was called for a foul just outside the penalty area, Gibbons junior Nicholas Brassington’s free kick slipped low through the Falcons’ wall and went straight in for a second Gibbons goal in just over 7 minutes. Gibbons 2, Jordan 0.
15:01 – Jordan got on the board after junior midfielder John West worked his way free along the sideline and beat two defenders heading toward the box. His low shot sailed just inside the far post. Gibbons 2, Jordan 1.
21:01 – Another Falcon mistake across the top of the penalty area – another weak clear over the center – found two Crusaders wide open on the far side. The first whiffed on his chance, but junior Jackson Hollenbach was close behind and blasted a shot from about 25 yards out into the middle of the net. Gibbons 3, Jordan 1.
46:49 – Jordan pressed hard in the opening minutes of the second half. Fighting his way into the Crusaders’ box, Said Calejas seized on his chance when the Gibbons goaltender got tangled up with a defender, and the Jordan senior forward flicked the ball into the open net. Gibbons 3, Jordan 2.
48:37 – Lane gave the momentum right back to Gibbons as he fired a hard shot low past one defender just inside the 18-yard box. Jordan sophomore goalie Robert Eigenrauch dove to make a terrific save, but then saw the deflected ball roll, in an agonizingly slow curve, a few feet behind him to just inside the post as he lay on the ground. Gibbons 4, Jordan 2.
75:07 – With the game growing increasingly frantic and physical, Jordan junior Jorge Murillo worked his way through a clump of players battling for the ball at the 6-yard line and knocked it past everybody to make it a one-goal margin. Gibbons 4, Jordan 3.
BY THE NUMBERS
16: shots by Cardinal Gibbons, most of them on-goal.
9: shots for Jordan.
7: saves by Jordan goalkeeper Robert Eigenrauch.
3: saves for Cardinal Gibbons keeper Patrick Monahan.
THEY SAID IT
“We can play with any team in the state. We just need to train and execute.” Jordan coach Don Jones.