A regular season that started with promise for the Orange boys soccer team will end with the Panthers missing the state playoffs.
On Monday night, the Panthers postseason fate was sealed after a 4-1 loss to Chapel Hill. In the process, the Tigers clinched the Big 8 Conference championship for the fourth consecutive season.
The loss that wounded the Panthers’ chances came the previous Wednesday, when Southern Durham rallied from a 3-2 halftime deficit to defeat Orange 5-4. The Spartans’s Luis Vidal scored off a corner kick with 9:43 remaining moments after Orange’s Alfredo Rodriguez tied the game. Vidal, a punter for Southern’s football team, finished with four goals. Rodriguez notched two goals for Orange, while Jamar Davis and Malcolm Phillips also scored.
Orange roared out of August 4-1 after beating Graham, Northern Durham, Bartlett Yancey and Wake Forest by a combined score of 25-5. Aside from a forfeit victory over Northern Vance, the Panthers have lost seven straight, three by one goal.
The Panthers are now 6-9-1 this season, 2-6-1 in the Big 8. They travel to Northwood tonight.