The spring’s rainy weather has limited most soccer teams’ chances to work out on their home fields, but it may have had an unexpected and decidedly beneficial effect on Carrboro.
While working on offensive attacks, passing and timing can be difficult in a cramped gym, keeping in tight formation can work for defenders.
“We missed about two weeks of work outside in the beginning of the season,” Carrboro head coach Jared Drexler said last week. “So we worked inside with our back four and were able to work on a lot of things.”
The inside work helped produce one of the best, if not the best defenses ever for any local girls soccer team.
Undefeated and untied Carrboro, ranked No. 3 in the Triangle by the News & Observer, extended its line of clean sheets Wednesday night with a 4-0 shutout of Hillsborough Cedar Ridge in a nonconference match.
Playing for the first time in almost two weeks, the Jaguars got two first-half goals — by Kenza Araba and Leah Simon — and added two insurance goals by sophomore Natasha Turner in the second half.
Carrboro (8-0-0) was missing two starters whose spring-break trip to France spilled over into last week, and was without leading scorer Kiara Hallows (8 goals) who recently underwent surgery for a wrist injury. But the Jaguars still out-shot Cedar Ridge 35-2 and earned their eighth straight shutout.
“Coming back from a break, it's always a challenge to get back into the swing of things,” said Carrboro sophomore midfielder (and Kenza's younger sister) Miah Araba, who assisted on the game's first three goals. “Once we scored the first goal, we got back into the swing of things and played pretty well the rest of the way.”
Cedar Ridge (4-6-0) never got a look at the goal in the first half, but goalkeeper Taylin Jean did her best to keep the Red Wolves competitive despite the 20-0 margin in shots.
Jean stopped 12 shots on-goal total during the game – four of the saves coming in one-on-one situations with Jaguars inside the penalty area.
The situation could have been worse. Carrboro's Laura Sparling laced at least a dozen passes out of the corner across the six, but less than five found a taker near the far post. Sparling finally connected in the 75th minute with Turner, who headed in the game's last goal.
Carrboro senior goalkeeper Benedikte Turner, Natasha's sister, had little trouble scooping up Cedar Ridges only two shots.
“Our defense works so well together,” Benedikte Turner said. “Kenza Araba and Olivia Turshak really communicate well and keep everyone organized in the back.”
Next up: Carrboro was scheduled to play Friday at Chapel Hill. See maxpreps.com for results.
Carrboro was scheduled to play Friday at Chapel Hill. See maxpreps.com for results.