Winning in blowout shutouts has been a habit for Carrboro all season.
But on Saturday night, the Jaguars had to make a single goal stand up for the second time in three games.
Sophomore Natasha Turner scored on a 25-yard free kick in the 69th minute – her 25th goal of the season – to give Carrboro a 1-0 win over scrappy Trinity in the fourth round of the state 2A girls’ soccer playoffs.
Top-seeded Carrboro (19-0-1) – which won the state title in 2012 – advanced to a home game for the Eastern championship Tuesday night against No. 3 seed Dixon, which was a 3-1 winner at No. 2 seed First Flight on Saturday.
Trinity, which was seeded No. 12, ended its season 15-5-1.
Carrboro had been knocked out in the fourth round each of the last two seasons.
“They’re more physical than we are,” said second-year Carrboro coach Jared Drexler, whose team was eliminated by Washington 1-0 last season. “We’re more of a finesse team. But (Trinity) played hard for 80 minutes, and I give them credit for that.
“Patience is a great word for our defense,” Drexler said. “We try not to stab, try to keep everything in front of us and try to be as organized as possible. It pays off in the games. Natasha has a great shot, and I give credit to Leah Simon on that play. We had lost the ball, (Simon) put immediate pressure on it and got fouled. And after (Turner) scored, those were 11 of the longest minutes of my life.”
Carrboro, which has won 11 straight, has allowed just one goal all season while winning 10 games in 9-0 technical knockouts including the first-round game against Wilson Beddingfield.
The goal happened on April 10 in a 1-1 tie at 3A Chapel Hill. The Jaguars, who beat 4A East Chapel Hill at home on March 13, got their second 1-0 win of the season over Croatan in overtime in the second round of the playoffs.
“We just tried to stick to our format and tried to get it to our forwards up top,” said veteran Trinity coach Mike Sink said. “We just couldn’t accomplish that. I thought our defense played exceptionally well and our keeper (Ally Faircloth) was just phenomenal. She made a lot of great saves.
“We talked about how few goals Carrboro has allowed. But we had come back five times to win this year. I still had a little hope after they scored, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”
Turner’s goal was set up when Simon, a senior midfielder, drew a hard foul just outside the box.
“I was just ready for this game to end,” said Turner, whose sister, Benedikte, in goal recorded her seventh shutout of the season. “I knew that might be our best chance to score so I had to put it in.
“We get a lot of physical opponents – usually not as much as today – but we were able to get through it.”
Simon said she thought the Jaguars might eventually get a free kick that would make the difference.
“They were fouling all over,” she said of Trinity. “I just kept on holding them back and trying to keep on top of the ball. I knew the fouls would come. I don’t think we have ever played a team that was that aggressive.”
Senior Benedikte Turner, who along with Kenza Araba and Olivia Turschak were also on the 2012 state title team, made just three saves to get the win. Trinity’s Ally Faircloth stopped 18 shots.
“We all work really well together in the back,” Benedikte Turner said. “Everybody gets along well. As long as we’re talking, we can usually get the job done.”