PREP SOCCER Champion rallies in second half
The Flashes scored four goals in the half to beat Hubbard, 5-2.
By BOB ROTH
CHAMPION -- With four second-half goals, Champion High defeated visiting Hubbard 5-2 in a boys Trumbull Athletic Conference soccer game Thursday.
Senior Mike Chapin's kick from 15 yards on the right side with 27 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in the game proved to be the winning goal, as it broke a 2-2 deadlock. The Golden Flashes improved to 8-3 overall and 4-2 in the TAC. Hubbard is 5-4-1, 1-3-1.
After the teams played through a 1-1 first half, Hubbard's Chris Styn, mired in heavy traffic in front of the Champion goal, took a short pass from Nathan Cesene and muscled the ball past Jason Black.
Eagles had lead
That gave the Eagles their second lead of the night with only 1:11 gone in the second half.
However, Hubbard wouldn't score again and Champion senior Jimmy Ray, with a 25-yard chip shot on a free kick from in front of the Hubbard net, tied the game at 2 with 29:45 remaining.
It was Ray's 16th goal of the season and second of the night. He had the only first half score for the Flashes with a driving 10-yarder set up by Chapin.
Earlier this week, Ray set a school record for scoring, breaking the mark held by his coach, Nathan Mailach, a 1995 Champion graduate.
Champion's last two goals were scored by Kreig Brugler and John Emery, both on assists by Mike Harrison.
Mailach, in his first season as Champion's coach, said, "This win, with our strength of schedule, should give us a top seed at the tournament draw this Sunday.
"We have become more of a second-half team this season and that really held true tonight."
Chapin, who also played well on defense, added, "We bounced back well after they took the lead, which is a good thing about us. We never get down on ourselves and we always seem to pick each other up."
Black has 10 saves
Junior goalkeeper Jason Black had 10 saves for the Golden Flashes.
Hubbard took an initial lead with just over 22 minutes remaining in the first half when Josh Petrusko scored on a 6-yarder, but the Champion defense answered after both Eagle scores.
"Their height and their ability to work well with set plays in the box have always been a problem for us," said Hubbard coach Rod Lehman, whose team also lost to Champion 3-1 in early September.
"We had our chances, but a few minor mistakes on defense turned into goals by them."
Champion outshot the Eagles 23-20. Hubbard's goalkeeper, Mike Mogg, had eight saves.