When two longtime rivals go head to head, it doesn’t matter what conference they play in.
East Chapel Hill, of the PAC-6 4A Conference, and neighbor Chapel Hill, of the Big 8 3A Conference, showed why their rivalry is so special Friday night in girls soccer.
With both defenses playing outstanding ball, the Tigers eked out a 1-0 victory in the Chapel Hill Clásico.
Senior middle fielder Alex Kerr scored on a breakaway with less than three minutes into the match to give Chapel Hill all the points it would need.
“It’s a backyard derby, right?” said Tigers coach Jason Curtis in reference to the rivalry. “It’s always tough; that’s why we play them twice a year, to get ready for the playoffs. We’ve been rolling along in conference play, and it always helps to get a wake-up call and come crosstown and play one of the best teams around.”
Chapel Hill (13-2-1, 9-0) has four straight matches and leads by two games over second-place Orange with three remaining. Its victory gives it a regular-season sweep over the Wildcats.
“A rivalry is a still a rivalry. Even though it’s not a conference game, we mark this on our calendar every year as a game we want to win,” East Chapel Hill coach Austin Collins said. “They got us twice this year, but they deserve it. They’re a good team, and they played very well against us.”
Both offenses had plenty of chances but the defenses were just too stiff. After giving up the early goal, East Chapel Hill goalie Kayla Kern had 10 blocks.
The Wildcats (11-5-1, 7-1-1) are in second place behind undefeated Cardinal Gibbons with three games left. The two play each other on Monday with the conference title on the line.