NJ's soccer team strong in second half at Rosewood
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 19, 2004 1:57 PM
One game and five days removed from being torched for five goals in the second half by James Kenan, North Johnston's boys soccer team seems to have learned from their second-half let down in Warsaw.
Facing Rosewood on Monday at Branch Pope Field, the Panthers scored six straight goals after falling behind 1-0 and cruised to a 6-1 win over the Eagles.
Rosewood's Drew Kriger works the ball upfield against North Johnston defender Dale Price.
North Johnston (15-3-2 overall) improved to 7-1-1 in the Class 1-A Carolina/Super Six Conference, while Rosewood (9-9-1 overall) dropped to 6-3 against conference foes. Both teams have three league matches remaining.
"That's what James Kenan did to us Wednesday night ... second half, they initiated the action," North Johnston coach Brent Walston said. "We tightened up defensively and that's the focus and intensity we need to have the full 80 minutes.
"We scored six goals on 12 shots. We were efficient."
North Johnston's Jake Lomonaco turned in a hat trick (three goals), including the last two goals of the match, to push the score to its final margin. The senior forward now has 37 goals on the season and has scored at least three goals in six games.
The first two goals of the second half seemed to do the most damage to the Eagles, who trailed just 2-1 at halftime.
Five minutes into the half, Ashley Moore took a pass in the middle from Garrett Stancil on the left wing. Moore turned, then knocked a shot past Rosewood goalie Antell Richards. One minute later, Stancil converted a penalty kick after the Eagles where whistled for a costly hand ball in the box.
Making matters worse for Rosewood, center midfielder and senior captain Brandon Hietpas went down with an injury shortly after Stancil's goal and did not return the rest of the match.
"We don't have anybody who can take his (Hietpas') spot. He's very important to what we do," Mitchell said. "They just came out in the second half and outplayed us. They kept the ball on our end, and it seemed like we stood around and watched."
The Eagles managed just three shots in the second half after a relatively evenly-played first half, where both teams took five shots each.
"The goals are going to come, we hope," Walston said. "Defensively we need to tighten up as a team and keep playing team ball. We are glad to be where we are, but we aren't satisfied."
The first half saw physical, end-to-end play for a majority of the 40 minutes, with both offenses displaying plenty of attacking prowess. Rosewood took a 1-0 lead six minutes into the game when Goss Kendall passed ahead to Joey Churchwell, who blasted a shot on goal -- saved by Panther goalie Josh Cooper. Kendall alertly followed the saved shot into the net for his third goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Lomonaco used his speed to beat the Rosewood defense down the right wing, then fell down -- causing Richards to charge out to him. Quickly, Lomonaco recovered, rose to his feet and finished his first of three goals into an empty net.
North Johnston's Brooks Sullivan gave his team a 2-1 lead at the 23-minute mark on a follow shot of a missed try by Moore.
Rosewood had two golden chances to equalize before half. The Eagles had several close chances on a barrage of shots with 12 minutes left in the half with the Panthers defense eventually clearing the ball out of danger.
Less than two minutes before intermission, Churchwell flicked a header toward the goal as Cooper made a diving save to push the ball out of bounds.
Cooper finished with two saves, while teammate Jay Pittman entered the game in the second half and had one save.
Richards finished with six saves for the Eagles. Rosewood travels to Spivey's Corner to face Hobbton on Wednesday, while North Johnston hosts Farmville Central.
"We sure would like to be playing our best soccer going into the playoffs," Mitchell said.
North Johnston 2 4 -- 6
Rosewood 1 0 -- 1
RHS -- Kendall (Churchwell assist), 6:00
NJ -- Lomonaco (unassisted), 9:00
NJ -- Sullivan (Moore assist), 23:00
NJ -- Moore (Stancil), 45:00
NJ -- Stancil (penalty kick), 46:00
NJ -- Lomonaco (unassisted), 59:00
NJ -- Lomonaco (unassisted), 74:00
12 Shots 8
5 Corner kicks 2
1 Offsides 0
12 Fouls 7
Saves -- North Johnston -- Josh Cooper 2, Jay Pittman 1. Rosewood -- Antell Richards 5.
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