11/02/04 — Graduate glance -- Worrell's soccer achievements big

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Graduate glance -- Worrell's soccer achievements big

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on November 2, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- In his second and final year at Mount Olive College, Eastern Wayne graduate Cory Worrell set his standards high.

"Before the season started, I wanted to score at least 20 goals," the senior forward said.

Mission accomplished.

Going into the first round of the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference tournament, Worrell has a conference-leading 21 goals. He also leads the CVAC in shots, points (goals and assists combined) along with four other offensive categories.

More importantly, he's played a vital role in helping the Trojans (12-5-2, 7-3-0 CVAC) become one of the top four teams in the conference -- earning a coveted first-round home match. Last year, Mount Olive took eighth in the conference and finished at 7-9-4 overall.

The Trojans, picked seventh in the preseason poll, earned a third-place tie with Lees-McRae and are the conference's fourth seed in the tournament.

"I'm not really surprised. I know it could come together," Worrell said. "We know how each other works, and know how to get each other the ball. I don't want to say this year has been easy, but it just helps when you know your team.

"We love going out there and playing. I just wish we would have kept it up going into the end of the season."

Mount Olive, hampered by a handful of late-season injuries, jumped out to a 7-0 start in conference play before dropping its last three heading into the tourney. All three losses were by one goal -- painfully reminiscent to last season, when the Trojans lost a number of close contests.

"We're not down. But we are just missing something," Worrell said. "We are just trying to move forward. I think we are starting to get hungry, and nobody likes to lose. When we go out to practice now, it's like starting a new season."

The Trojans open the CVAC tournament against rival Barton College on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Trojan Field. Earlier this season, Mount Olive blanked the Bulldogs 7-0 in a balanced offensive display. Worrell was one of six Trojans to score in the win.

In his two years at Mount Olive, Worrell now has 34 goals and eight assists in 39 games.

Following this school year, Worrell -- a Louisburg College transfer -- will remain at Mount Olive one more year to complete his major in Sports Management.

Warren delivers perfect snap

before game-winner

CHAPEL HILL -- Before North Carolina's freshman place kicker Conner Barth delivered what some are simply calling -- "The Kick" -- a field goal that beat then third-ranked Miami on Saturday at Kenan Stadium, first there was a snap, then a hold.

Southern Wayne graduate and Tar Heel senior deep snapper Greg Warren delivered the first part of the equation -- a perfect snap to holder Jared Hall. Seconds later, the shaggy-haired Barth split the uprights for the game-winning 42-yard field goal.

Minutes later, those same uprights were being scaled like a jungle gym as the raucous Kenan Stadium crowd flooded the field.

Before the kick, North Carolina called a timeout to stop the clock. Then, the Hurricanes called another to try to ice the heralded freshman kicker from Wilmington Hoggard.

Warren wasn't looking to calm down Barth -- more trying to keep his teammates away during the timeouts.

"He doesn't usually get rattled, so I wasn't really worried too much about him," Warren said. "There were a lot of guys wanting to come up to him and pat him on the helmet, so I wanted to keep them away. I asked him if he wanted to go over and take a few more warm-up kicks, but he said he was fine."

Interestingly enough, Warren believes Barth's favorite hobby -- surfing -- may have prepared him for the pressure situation.

"He goes out surfing during the hurricanes, and that's something I would never think about doing," Warren said. "He seems to thrive in the pressure and even the dangerous situations."

Warren, who was a part of the Heels' 2001 Peach Bowl team, is looking forward to the challenges presented by the final three regular-season games. North Carolina can become bowl-eligible by winning two of the last three.

"I told the guys during a preseason meeting that going to the Peach Bowl was one of the best experiences I've had since being here," Warren said. "It's a good feeling to know we have a chance at going back to a bowl game."

North Carolina plays its final home game of the season Saturday at noon against another ACC newcomer, Virginia Tech, before taking to the road against Wake Forest and Duke to close the season.