CARTERVILLE — Chandler Teeling was not to be denied as he broke free to the goal Wednesday evening late in the second half. The Carterville/Herrin senior soccer player struck a shot right on target, but Terriers goalie, Alex Van Winkle, managed to deflect the kick away from the net.
Unfortunately for him, the deflection caromed right back to Teeling whose follow-up header pierced the net for a 2-1 lead at the 29:50 mark for what proved to be the game winner in non-conference play.
With the victory, the Lions improve to 8-7-1 overall. The Terriers fall to 10-10.
"I saw an opportunity to take charge," Teeling said of his open-field scoring opportunity. "I wanted this one really bad, especially here on Senior Night. It was time for us to beat Carbondale. They had beaten us my freshman through junior years. That's why it feels great to finally beat them. I've been looking for this (game-winning goal) all my life. I'm ready to take things to the next level."
Lions head coach Chip Lennox was impressed with his senior.
"It was an amazing effort," he said. "Chandler's initial angle on the ball to get the defender turned was fabulous. Then, to get inside the defender on this bumpy field and be able to strike it and keep it down...put a shot with power into the keeper...and then to keep his balance, keep his stance and then finish off with composure was great. He's a solid player who sees the flow of the game well."
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Lennox was also pleased with the effort of his sophomore goalie, Keegan Weber, who made a handful of spot-on saves, including a couple early and a couple late in the game.
"Keegan was a little unlucky with that ball that came through him late in the first half (a goal from Carbondale's Ezra Robinson), but most of the game he was in great position. Great stuff."
Lennox added that whereas the Terriers may not be the Lions' arch rival, beating a program as distinguished as Carbondale's is significant.
"We really haven't competed well with them in recent years," he said. "So to compete well and beat them for these nine seniors is huge."
Carterville/Herrin got on the scoreboard first at the 26:07 mark of the first half when senior Jesus Mendez took a feed from freshman Keith Layson to slip one past Van Winkle.
The Terriers tied it 1-1 at the 39-minute mark when Robinson squeezed one past Weber. Carbondale had at least three other excellent opportunities to score earlier in the half - two from Robinson, one of which was a free kick that Weber blocked. Luca DiMaggio was also unable to find the mark as Weber stood tall.
Carbondale head coach Jeff Hansen said his team had its chances to win.
"We missed two point-blank chances, which probably would have flipped the game. Instead of being down 1-0, you're up 1-0 and then another one hit the back post. We had guys there. We just have to put those shots away. Hopefully, those are good learning lessons for the playoffs."
Hansen said the Terriers are definitely not in panic mode with the loss.
"For the last two or three weeks, we've played very well," he said. "We just have to stay positive. Sometimes, the ball bounces your way and sometimes, it doesn't. We're just lucky today wasn't a playoff game. Here, it was their senior night, so they were playing with a little extra juice. We wish them well in the playoffs."
Carbondale returns to action at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at home against Anna-Jonesboro. Carterville/Herrin will next play at 10 a.m. Saturday at home in a postseason match with Mount Vernon.