Call it the “rubber match” of last weekend’s Play 4 The Cure invitational.
Tournament champion Myers Park defeated both Chapel Hill and Durham Academy in the annual invitational in Cary – giving the Tigers their only loss in pool play before they won their bracket’s title game. Myers Park later bested DA 2-1 in overtime in the tournament finals, played on a hot (really hot) Saturday.
Wednesday, playing again in broiling heat and heavy humidity, Chapel Hill and Durham Academy met face to face and slugged it out to a 1-1 tie in regulation before the Tigers came away with a 2-1 victory in sudden death.
“Perhaps we thought we were in better shape than we really are,” Durham Academy coach Judy Chandler lamented after her team suffered its second one-goal overtime loss in five days. “Over the weekend, it was brutal. That took a lot out of our team. But Chapel Hill played four games in the same tournament, the same heat.”
Julia Grant scored the game-winning goal Wednesday with 7:06 left in the first sudden-death period.
Slightly less than 3 minutes into the extra time, Chapel Hill’s Ines Yofre sent the ball into a group of players clustered near the goal mouth. Both Grant and Caroline Murphy had chances at a shot, each blocked by DA goalkeeper Isabel Gutierrez, before Grant got her stick on the ball one more time and slid it just past the keeper’s left foot.
“So many thoughts go through your mind. We could have been out there for another 20 minutes of overtime,” Grant said. “You just have to keep going. ... We just didn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
With the game tied at 1-1, Durham Academy (5-2) almost got what would have been been the game-winning goal twice in a five-minute stretch toward the end of regulation play.
With 15 minutes left, DA sophomore Eleanor Robb got the ball on the left wing for a clean one-on-one opportunity with Chapel Hill goalkeeper Ryann Brinkman, who brushed away the shot.
Four minutes after that, a rare mental lapse by Chapel Hill’s back line gave DA two good looks at the goal, but the (4-1) Tigers recovered in time to clear the ball and called a timeout to regroup.
Three (plus 1) To Watch
The Hanna(h)s, DA senior forwards: Chapel Hill controlled the run of play for much of the first half, according to Chandler, but Nicole Hanna scored the game’s first goal on a DA counter-attack. At the end of a Cavalier fast break, Hannah Pope had the ball almost point blank at the goal, but without a clean shot; she fed the ball to her right to Hanna at the far post, who tipped it in for a DA lead.
Catie Williams, Chapel Hill: With time running short in regulation, Chapel Hill’s Ines Yofre started a short corner that Alleigh Kempf ran onto near the penalty spot and passed across the goal mouth to Williams, who sent in the game-tying goal.
Lundy Fine, Chapel Hill senior defender: In a game where both teams, visibly drained by the heat, repeatedly broke past tired defenders for long runs down the field, Fine time and again stepped up to cut off the Cavaliers’ advance. She was the last defender in front of Brinkman at least three times in the second half and stopped the Cavs each time.
“Being able to regroup on defense was huge,” Chapel Hill coach Anna Long said.
They Said It
“Chapel Hill came with the whole package. We still have to work on that.” DA coach Judy Chandler.
“Judy Chandler is a great coach and she always has a good program. We always know it’s going to be intense here, and it’s a great way to start the season.” Chapel Hill second-year head coach Anna Long.