09/01/04 — Mount Olive men get 5-0 shutout

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Mount Olive men get 5-0 shutout

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 1, 2004 1:56 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- "Could have been better. Could have been worse."

Mount Olive men's soccer coach Jerry Riggs' statement summed up his feelings following his young squad's 5-0 win Tuesday over North Greenville in their season and home opener.

He was pleased overall with the victory against a regional and non-conference foe, but the stretches of careless play on the offensive side of the field concerned the third-year coach.

Still, Riggs knows it's early.

"We are still young," he said. "We need more of a routine and set pattern. My biggest job now is to find who can work with who and find that little rhythm."

There were a couple of clear instances when the Trojans had plenty of momentum.

In a three-minute stretch early in the first half, senior Cory Worrell -- an Eastern Wayne alum who scored 13 goals last season -- posted two goals to give Mount Olive a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Eric Small assisted on both goals, with the second coming after Small's perfectly-placed corner kick found the head of Worrell, who was unmarked.

"It was all right today. I think we could have done a lot better," Worrell said. "We should have protected it better and made more runs off the ball. This year, we have a lot of new players and I liked the way our freshmen played today."

After several near misses in the first 15 minutes of the second half, junior forward Reid Clewis knocked in two goals in a four-minute span. Clewis scored unassisted both times, banging in a strong, left-footed volley for his second goal near the 62nd minute mark of the game. Primarily a midfielder, Clewis was held scoreless last season while finishing with three assists.

Mount Olive (1-0) outshot North Greenville 21-2 on the game as a host of Trojan defenders turned in a stout effort in the back. Starting goalie Jason Miller and substitute keeper Chris Roush combined on the shutout.

The Crusaders (0-3) rarely attacked deep in the Mount Olive defense as neither of their two shots threatened the goal.

"Those guys in the back played well for us, but those guys in the middle and forward need to be smoother," Riggs said. "It's decision making. We need to move more like a machine, instead of here or there. But, that comes with time."

Two of 13 players on the Mount Olive roster from Onslow County, freshmen Bradley Carroll and Woody Stilley, connected for the Trojans' final goal with just under 10 minutes left in the game. Stilley found Carroll in the middle of the field as Carroll finished past the Crusader goalie.

Still, the scoreless stretches around the goals irked the Trojan coach.

"We put them in when we needed to, but we were a little sloppy," Riggs said. "We missed some easy chances. A 5-0 result is good, but when you get one-versus-one opportunities and good looks, you have to put them away.

"We can't have that when we play tougher teams, and that's coming soon."

The Trojans travel today to take on non-conference foe Averett University (Va.).

N. Greenville 0 0 -- 0

Mount Olive 2 3 -- 5

First half

MOC -- Worrell (Small assist), 7:46

MOC -- Worrell (Small assist), 10:05

Second half

MOC -- Clewis, 58:40

MOC -- Clewis, 62:34

MOC -- Carroll (Stilley assist), 80:51


2 Shots on goal 21

0 Corner kicks 2

1 Offsides 5

15 Fouls 16

Saves -- N. Greenville -- Burton 9. Mount Olive -- Miller, Roush 0.