RALEIGH – In a 4A State Championship match that featured a lot of firepower on both sides, It was a corner kick in the 45th minute that made the ultimate difference, lifting Cardinal Gibbons to a 2-1 lead and eventually the school’s first 4A State Championship in Men’s Soccer.
With the score tied at 1, Gibbons earned a corner kick on a deep probing run into the box. Sal Bottone stepped into the corner to deliver the corner kick, dropping a beautiful in-swinging ball onto the back post where it found the waiting head of Jackson Hollenbach. The senior midfielder Hollenbach directed it on frame and into the back of the net with a flick of his head in the 45th minute, giving the Crusaders the decisive 2-1 lead.
Hollenbach also played a role in the Crusaders first marker of the game, when the Crusaders won possession in the Hough penalty area, Hollenbach slipped a pass to Jack Zarnik from the edge of the box. Zarnik danced by two Huskies defenders and slipped the ball off his right foot into the back of the net, breaking the ice in the 24th minute. Hollenbach was named the game’s M.V.P. with a goal and an assist.
Hough equalized the match just four minutes after the first Gibbons goal. Davis Ashbrook found Kyle Jeffrey who knocked home the goal that sent the match to halftime tied. Hough finished the season 24-2, they were 14-0 as champions of the I-Meck 4A Conference. Hough won their first Western Regional Final on their way to their first State Championship appearance.
Cardinal Gibbons concluded the season with a 27-4 record overall, they were 12-2 as the champions of the Cap 7 4A Conference. Gibbons appeared in their eighth state championship game in Men’s Soccer, and won the school’s sixth Men’s Soccer State Championship in all classifications.
HHS CGHS 1 Goals 2 6 Shots 14 2 SOG 6 4 Saves 1 12 Fouls 9 1 Corners 2 0 YC 1 0 RC 0
24’ – CG – Jack Zarnik goal, assisted by Jackson Hollenbach. (1-0 CG)
28’ – Hough – Kyle Jeffrey goal, assisted by Davis Ashbrook. (1-1 tie)
45’ – CG – Jackson Hollenbach goal, assisted by Sal Bottone off corner kick. (2-1 CG)
77’ – CG – Sal Bottone shown a yellow card.