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Champions edge Vikings in district semis

Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 8:46 am

Carter Daniel of the Vikings and Briston Moore of the Champions battle for possession. (Post Photo by Rickey Clardy)

Sports Writer
BELL BUCKLE — The stakes were high Tuesday night as the Community Vikings and Cascade Champions battled in the District 9-A soccer tournament semifinals with a berth in the district finals awaiting the winner.
It turned out to be a matchup where goals were at a premium as only one shot found the back of the net, but it was the Champions who benefited from the lone goal of the game in the 36th minute as the Champs defeated the Vikings 1-0.
With the wind at their backs, the Champions dominated field position and had several scoring chances in the first half.
Starting in the 7th minute, Cascade saw three narrow misses in a 3-minute span as a header and two other shots went to the right of the net.
Community Viking goalie Reily Anica stayed busy with several saves in the half, including a throw-in by Ivan Draine of the Champions that Anica took out of the air.
The Vikings had some false hope of a goal in the 22nd minute as Alejandro Carrillo’s kick came close to entering the Champion net, but the ball sailed just over the crossbar as the game remained scoreless.
The Champs finally broke the ice with 4:54 remaining as Draine slid the ball perfectly in front of the goal from the left side and found Vayden Moore in stride for the goal to give Cascade a 1-0 lead.
With the momentum on their side, the Champions saw a header just miss the mark 40 seconds later as Cascade took their slim advantage to the intermission.
With Draine’s strong throw-ins repeatedly coming close to the Viking goal, the Champions threatened in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but Anica and the Community defense were true to the test.
The Vikings finally solved the Champion defense in the 62ndminute and saw three close scoring chances in a 5-minute span.
The closest opportunity came with 18 minutes left in the game as the ball eluded the Champion goalie near the Cascade net with a Community player in pursuit of the loose ball, but a whistle stopped the action and kept the Vikings from getting a shot.
Another kick went wide right while a shot on goal was stopped by Champion goalie Nick Harris as Cascade maintained its lead.
The Vikings frantically looked for the tying goal in the last 10 minutes, but could not find an opening as the Champs took the semifinal win.
Community finished its season with a 4-6-2 record.
With the win, the Champions will travel to Chapel Hill Thursday and take on the Forrest Rockets for the D9A championship.
Forrest defeated Fayetteville 5-0 in the other semifinal contest.
The Champs and Rockets split their two regular season games.

Community  0  0 — 0
Cascade      1  0 — 1

First Half
Cas — Vayden Moore goal from Ivan Draine (36th minute).