High School Sports

Wildcats win a piece of PAC-6 title, lose No. 1 seed

Ellis Llewellyn, center, is swarmed by his East Chapel Hill teammates after his first-half goal.
Ellis Llewellyn, center, is swarmed by his East Chapel Hill teammates after his first-half goal. newsobserver.com

East Chapel Hill won a share of the PAC-6 soccer championship Wednesday night after triumphing in a penalty-kick shootout at Durham Jordan, but Jordan won the conference’s No. 1 seed in the upcoming state playoffs after a post-game coin flip at midfield.

“To have one championship outright and share two others over the past four years is really something good, especially after never having won the conference title before that,” East Chapel Hill coach Austin Collins said. “This result seems right. Our two teams are just about even.”

The only conference losses this season for East Chapel Hill (12-5-1 overall, 7-1-0) and Jordan (12-6-1, 7-1-0) came against each other. Jordan won 2-1 Oct. 6 at East Chapel Hill on a last-minute goal.

“We started this season 1-4, so I’m really proud of our guys and the way they fought back,” Jordan coach Don Jones said. “What you saw tonight were two, very competitive, evenly matched teams.

“Sharing the title with them is a bit disappointing, but it’s fair.”

The teams’ respective head coaches conferred immediately after the shootout and opted not to play a one-game playoff game this week, opting instead to allow their players more time to get ready for the post-season. Jordan won the coin flip that awarded them the No. 1 seed from the PAC-6.

The Wildcats and Falcons ended regulation at 1-1 and went scoreless through two, 10-minute overtimes. East Chapel Hill won the shootout 3-1, locking it up on senior Michael Krantz’s low, hard shot to his right, which glanced off Jordan keeper Anthony Roque’s gloves before hitting the back of the net.

After saving East’s first attempt in the shootout, Roque managed to deflect the Wildcats’ next three shots but couldn’t keep any of them them out. East’s Anthony Shopshire and Bradley Demoll both banged in their shots. Wildcat goalkeeper Nic Mallet yielded the shootout’s first score to Jordan’s Tobias Gangsto, but Jordan banged one try off the crossbar and Mallett saved two shots to set up Krantz’s game-clincher.

“That was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever been through,” Krantz said.

East Chapel Hill grabbed an early 1-0 lead on a hard shot by Ellis Llewellyn, who ran onto a bouncing ball just outside the penalty area and one-timed it into the net in the 25th minute.

Barely 60 seconds later, Jordan’s Cam White won a ball near midfield and sent it through the middle to Gangsto, who beat two defenders and blasted a hard shot into the goal with 14 minutes, 46 seconds left in the first half.

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