East Hamilton's soccer Hurricanes missed about eight shots well over the crossbar Tuesday afternoon. They fired about four shots wide left and about five that were headed either over the crossbar or wide.
Afterward, as the Arts & Sciences players had a brief team huddle before heading to meet their family and friends, the Hurricanes had a protracted meeting.
But they had found a way to win.
Despite the frustrations, the Class A/AA second-ranked Hurricanes won 3-1 to reach Thursday's District 6-A/AA championship match. It was their 13th consecutive victory.
"Obviously, I'm pleased to get the win," East Hamilton coach John Millard said. "At this point, it's all about finding a way to win on Tuesday. We came out flat and looked nervous and tentative in our play. Those are the times when a veteran team needs one voice on the field to calm us down."
Millard credited senior defender Steven Sloan as that person Tuesday.
"We kept the ball on their side of the field for so much of the second half," Millard said. "When that happens, you have to be worried about there not being any mistakes in the back, especially in a one-goal match."
It was Sloan who got the Hurricanes (13-1) on the board first, with a goal off a Jose Orellana corner kick. Kyle Gallups made it 2-0 off a Kyle Ford clear late in the half. They controlled most of the half, but Christo Payne headed in a Wylder May free kick for the Patriots before halftime.
With the score close for the entirety of the second half, East Hamilton fired shots from all angles. Finally, in the final 30 seconds, Daniel Duk scored to put the match out of reach.
"I thought we had a great effort," CSAS coach David Poss said. "We played with more intensity for a while. I think that [former CSAS head coach and current East Hamilton assistant] Carrie Hill played a part in that. The guys were trying to prove something to their old coach.
"I think this group will take this and build on it as they mature next season."
CSAS keeper Addison Coleman finished with nine saves for the Patriots (4-8-3).
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