Eh Pa Kee scored on a tip-in on a rush from Hans Singh in the 35th minute, and Carrboro’s defense made it hold up to defeat Franklinton 1-0 in a hotly contested East 2A boys’ soccer semifinal on a chilly Saturday night.
No. 2 seed Carrboro improved to 22-2-1 heading into the Eastern final on Tuesday at defending state champ First Flight while No. 3 seed Franklinton ended its season at 21-3-1.
The Jaguars are in the state’s final four for the fourth straight year, losing to First Flight 3-1 in the Eastern final in Kill Devil Hills last season after having been state runner-up each of the previous two. Carrboro ended First Flight’s season two years ago.
Carrboro had won the teams’ regular-season meeting here 3-0 on Aug. 25.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
“That was our third game of the season,” Carrboro coach Jared Drexler said. “They’re a lot better team now. They got some new players, and we knew that.
“Our seniors will be in the (final four) for the fourth straight year. We all know what our goal is. We don’t talk about it every day. We’re just trying not to get ahead of ourselves.”
The 21-win finish was the best in Franklinton history.
“We did OK,” Franklinton coach Isaac Welker said. “Soccer is a cruel game. Carrboro had the majority of the possession, and they had a quality side. Their defense and their goalkeeper are as strong as any team in the area.
“This is just a bitter way to end the season at 1-0. We had two near-misses in the first half. We had seven seniors, and they just had a great year.”
The Jaguars outshot the visitors 6-3 in the first half.
The goal came after the senior Singh had gone through traffic to put a ball on frame, which Kee misdirected away from goalie Hector Cruz.
“It was amazing,” said Kee, who scored his 14th goal despite playing all season with a broken right wrist.