Chapel Hill forward Morgan Brandewie’s goal in the 56th minute came as quite a shock to the Cardinal Gibbons girls soccer team.
The Crusaders were dominating most facets of Wednesday night’s nonconference clash with the rival Tigers and owned a two-goal lead when Brandewie scored unassisted.
But Cardinal Gibbons shocked right back as senior midfielder Abbey Burns’ rocketed a shot into the top left corner past Chapel Hill keeper Karolina Honkakoski less than a minute later to right the Crusaders’ ship as they won 4-1.
“It was extremely important we answered quickly,” said Burns. “We didn’t want to allow any goals to them. It was good work as a team to get that goal back.”
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Cardinal Gibbons, now 3-1, took a 2-0 lead via two off the boot of midfielder Marissa Kowalski – one in the first half, the other in the second.
The senior’s first tally came in the 14th minute. Senior defender Leah Mills corralled a loose ball about 40 yards away from the goal and fed Kowalski. The midfielder dribbled into the penalty area and brought Honkakoski off her line. Kowalski juked once and then placed the ball into the net.
Chapel Hill (0-1-1) had a golden opportunity for an equalizer in the 30th minute when the Tigers drew a foul 30 yards out in the center of the field. However, junior midfielder Iida Hirvoven’s shot was inches too high over the top bar.
Cardinal Gibbons got two chances late in the half, but Honkakoski stuffed a header by senior Samantha Tubolino in the 38th and a direct kick by junior Montgomery Cooling in the 40th.
In all, the Crusaders enjoyed a 12-4 edge in shots in the first half.
Kowalski made it 2-0 in the 50th minute, breaking wide-open in space after taking a pass from Kaitlyn Bouck.
Eight minutes later, Brandewie scored on the Tigers’ lone shot in the second half.
“We didn’t panic,” Crusaders coach Michelle Miller said. “We weren’t going to change anything. We were just going to keep doing what we were doing and I think we kept calm, scored quickly, and got control.”
Chapel Hill head coach Jason Curtis concurred.
“That quick answer was unfortunate,” he said. “You can see we don’t have the depth of Cardinal Gibbons, but I think we improved so much from our first match (0-0 tie at Eastern Alamance on Feb. 29).”
The final goal was a nifty one-timer by freshman Emily Duerr in the 77th minute.
Beating their old Big 8 3A Conference rival was huge for the now PAC-6 4A Crusaders said Burns.
“It’s still a game you want to win,” she said. “They’re our rivals. It’s big.”