After a double overtime thriller decided the last meeting between crosstown boys lacrosse rivals Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill, Friday’s finish seemed familiar for fans at Clinton-Peerman Stadium.
After four lead changes in the first half, the Tigers were clinging to a one-goal lead. But the second half proved to be an entirely different ballgame. The Wildcats opened the third quarter on a three-goal run and outscored the Tigers 7-1 to claim their third consecutive win with a 12-8 victory.
At halftime, East coach Dominic Koplar made note of the changes his squad needed to make in the second half, but wasn’t necessarily expecting them to take it as far as they did right out of the gates.
“We reiterated being focused, playing our game and doing the things we can do and knew it would fall for us,” Koplar said. “I don’t think we expected 7-to-1, but we’re happy with the result.
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“We had a lot of guys step up all week who we’ve been waiting to rely on and do their job and started to click on the right cylinders.”
Chris Cox led the Wildcats (7-3) with a game-high five goals, but four other Wildcats chipped in at least two points.
Chapel Hill (4-7) dropped its fifth game in a row, but has played several of the top teams in the state, something that coach Brent Voelkel hopes will bode well for his team once the 3A/2A/1A playoffs begin.
“There was a reason why I wanted to play a good non-conference title. A lot of the 4A teams are really good,” he said. “You want to play teams that are competitive and better than you to make you want to be better and I think that’s important.”
A fluid Aidan Clark-to-Mujahid Turner connection on the crease with 7:51 to go in the third quarter set off a barrage of goals for the Wildcats.
“He had two dunks right on the crease, that’s huge for him,” Koplar said.
They said it
“I’m not going to lie, it does mean more than the average game in a lot of different ways. For the seniors, I know this meant everything for them. Now they’ve had eight games against Chapel Hill and they’ve won eight games against Chapel Hill.” Dominic Koplar
Three to know
Chris Cox, East Chapel Hill: Cox led the all players with five goals and was a crucial part of East’s utter dominance of the transition game.
Vance Perkins, East Chapel Hill: Perkins posted a 63.4% save percentage, stopping 14 Chapel Hill shots.
“He’s an incredible kid and goalie, he’s the heartbeat of the team, Chris (Cox) is the pulse and he’s the heartbeat,” Koplar said.
Sean Voelkel, Chapel Hill: Led the Tigers’ offensive attack with two goals and an assist.
By the numbers
4: Players to score for Chapel Hill – Voelkel, Nick Agusta (3), Forest Praston and Kyle Healy.
6: Players to have points for East Chapel Hill – Cox (5 goals), Porter Alexander (2 goals, 2 assists), Aidan Clark (2 goals, 2 assists), Turner (2 goals), Jordan Greeno (2 assists) and Tyler Westerhoff (1 goal).
74: Win percentage for Chapel Hill at the faceoff X.