By Nate Taylor – Staff Writer
RALEIGH – Here’s our rapid reaction after Cardinal Gibbons defeated Hickory 2-1 Saturday afternoon in the NCHSAA 3-A state champion:
HOW THE MATCH WAS WON
The Crusaders were mentally tough, which helped after they surrendered an early 1-0 lead. Midfielder Joshua Schramme scored two goals to lead Cardinal Gibbons to victory. But his match-winning goal was set up by midfielder Tyler Zimmerman, who crossed the ball to Schramme after he struggled for much of the match. Cardinal Gibbons also held off Hickory for the final 11 minutes.
This actually happened after Hickory tied the match in the 61st minute on a goal by midfielder Carlos Sevilla. The Red Tornadoes had all the momentum, which forced Cadinal Gibbons coach Tim Healy to switch his formation for the fifth time during the game. The adjustment to go for more offense led to the Crusaders’ second goal.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Crusaders were able to get their first goal after having plenty of opportunities on set pieces. In the first half, the Crusaders had eight corner kicks, which kept the ball deep inside Hickory’s territory before Schramme scored his first goal off a rebound from a corner kick.
This has to go to goalkeeper Chris Shannon. He had eight saves and was key in the final 10 minutes, as the Red Tornadoes tried to score a goal to send the match into overtime. What makes Shannon performance even better was he was in the hospital a few days ago after have multiple bruises to his right rib cage.
WHAT IT MEANS
This is Cardinal Gibbons (23-1-2) first state championship in 3-A after playing many years in 2-A. The Crusaders won their fourth state title with the victory as well. For the seniors, this is their second championship after winning it all in 2008.