The Chase Lady Trojans soccer team had a win in their sights, but a goal by East Burke in the 77th minute spoiled the celebration as Chase had to settle for the 1-1 draw Thursday night.
“It’s heartbreaking really,” said Chase coach Scott Hopper. “They just scored a late goal against a freshman goalkeeper that played great the rest of the night. I’ll take a draw though because we played so well and it was much better than our first match (a 6-0 loss to Kings Mountain). I am pleased with the improvement. I just wish the outcome had been a little different.”
Chase (0-1-1) controlled the run of play in the opening three minutes of play.
After a strong run, Christiana Jimenez delivered a nice pass to Kendra Holcombe in front of the net, but her shot hit off the near post. From that point, the game settled into a midfield affair until Alyssa Watson swapped the field with a long pass to Brittney Swink.
Once the ball was on the East Burke side of the field the Lady Trojans kept it there. Swink and Liliana Gonzalez ripped a pair of shots in the 16th minute but Lady Cavaliers goalie Kaitlin Hudson was up to the task, making a diving stop on each attempt
The home team kept up the pressure up getting shots from Conner and Swink over the next four minutes. That persistence finally paid off just before the half.
Taylor James gathered in the ball at midfield and made an uncontested run to the near corner. She then cut around a defender and Hudson came out of goal to stop the shot. At the last second, however, James slid the ball to Conner who tapped the ball in an empty net for the 1-0 lead which Chase took into the halftime break
The Lady Trojans kept their foot on the gas coming out of the break as they quickly earned a corner kick. Even though the attempt as cleared, Chase kept possession.
They continued to play keep away from East Burke, linking up on several passes to melt minutes off the clock. When the defense began to sag, Chase attacked. Kendra Holcombe slid in behind the defense in the box. She had a shot opportunity but passed the ball to Conner who faced an empty net. Her shot was high, however, leaving the tally at 1-0.
Holcombe also nearly gave her team a two-goal lead in the 66th minute.
She raced around her defender and faced Hudson in a 1 on 1 matchup. Her shot beat the keeper but it hit off the crossbar.
That miss proved costly as in the 77th East Burke forward Gabby Bollick beat backup goalie Bailey Campfield, putting the ball in the far corner for the equalizer that tied the contest at 1-1.
Campfield was in goal as Hopper decided to move Harley Cline to a defender early in the match. Neither side mounted a threat the rest of the way and because the match was a non conference contest, no overtime was played and the game ended in a draw.
Chase will travel to East Burke on March 11 for the back half of their home-and home-series. Match time is yet to be determined.