The Cardinal Gibbons girls’ soccer team ran through the PAC-6 Conference unscathed its first year in the league, shutting out East Chapel Hill, 3-0, in both team’s regular-season finale Thursday.
The Crusaders (19-1, 12-0 PAC-6) controlled the tempo for most of the game, getting quality opportunities early but unable to find the back of the net. The East Chapel Hill bend-but-don’t-break defense withstood the early pressure to keep the game scoreless until Cardinal Gibbons freshman Emily Duerr’s scored with five minutes left in the first half.
She shook off a defender and shot the ball past a diving Kayla Kern.
“I needed it. These past couple of games, I haven’t been at my best. I was so excited,” an elated Duerr said after the game.
East Chapel Hill (11-9-2, 9-3) had limited chances. The offense produced a couple but had no shots on goal, thanks to solid defense by the Crusaders.
Earlier in the season when the two teams faced off at East Chapel Hill, the Crusaders survived a 3-2 win in penalty kicks. The rematch favored Cardinal Gibbons again, but they made it look easier the second time around.
“I think that we finished our chances. When we were at East, we created a lot of opportunities but we didn’t have the confidence or composure to finish,” Crusaders coach Michele Miller said. “Tonight, when we got chances, we put them on frame. Their keeper did a good job; she made us make good shots.”
Taylor Currie provided some insurance, heading in a deflected ball off the foot of a defender early in the second half. Seven minutes later, Montgomery Cooling scored after her corner kicked ricocheted off an East Chapel Hill player in front of the net.
They said it
“Coach Miller has been building a championship-bound team this year. Out of past teams, I think this team has one of the greatest chances at a championship, and our offense is one of the growing pieces as the season has gone on, and we’ve been getting better and better,” Duerr said.
By the numbers
12: Shots by the Crusaders
9: Saves from Wildcats goalie Kayla Kern
0: Shots on goal by the Wildcat offense