The line that separates the dying summer days and fall nights is quickly becoming blurred. The humidity is fading, temperatures are falling and soccer teams are remembering what rivalry games are like.
While the Chapel Hill-Carrboro game doesn’t have a rivalry name like El Clasico in Spain’s La Liga, perhaps it’s time to create one.
On a night where four yellow cards were issued in a game that surpassed 1 hour and 40 minutes due to several referee stoppages – that’s 20 minutes over the regulation 80 minutes of N.C. high school matches – the intensity wasn’t lacking. Neither were the tempers.
Chapel Hill defeated Carrboro 1-0 on Wednesday night at Jaguar Stadium. Blake Johnson dribbled past three Jaguars on the back line and drove a low shot past Carrboro starting goalkeeper Will Wagner.
Chapel Hill (2-0) goalkeeper Lu Lue posted his first clean sheet of the season with three saves.
The Jaguars (1-1-1) mustered three shots in the second half, the best of which came when Michael Donovan fired a shot wide off a set up into the box by midfielder Daniel Luai.
Lue repeatedly came off his line to deny several Jaguars changes in the second half, the most threatening by Jake Melville with 15:10 remaining.
“It’s always intense. It’s crosstown rivals, man,” said Chapel Hill coach Jason Curtis. “Blake got that first one early and we were able to hold on from there. But give them credit, they played hard and they defended well. It’s always intense when we play them.”
“They’re a solid team,” said Carrboro Coach Jared Drexler. “I think we’re still trying to find out identity and what works best for us. We would have liked to possess a little bit more than we did. We made some mistakes in the attacking third and test their keeper very much. And we lost our composure towards the end.
Regular Carrboro goalkeeper Jonas Herfarth, who returned from Germany over the weekend, was inserted into the game in the 2nd half, making three saves.
Lue needed to make only one save in the second half to preserve the shutout.
“Lu is definitely not afraid to come off the line,” said Curtis. “It’s always good to have a senior make good decisions in goal. He’s been waiting four years waiting behind guys to get a start. He’s been patient.”
Chapel Hill looks foreard to the Chapel Hill Derby against East Chapel Hill on Sept. 11 before starting conference play Sept. 14 at Northwood.
Carrboro plays East Chapel Hill on Wednesday.
While Carrboro will be the heavy favorite to win the Mid-State 2A conference again, a rematch of the Carrboro Derby is already on the minds of some Jaguars fans, one of whom screamed “See you in October” at the final whistle of their match with Chapel Hill.