03/02/05 — Golden Falcons blanked in season opener

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Golden Falcons blanked in season opener

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 2, 2005 2:14 PM

PIKEVILLE - Facing a 1-0 deficit midway through the second half, Charles B. Aycock women's soccer coach John Fidler urged his team to move the ball up field with more urgency in their season opener at home on Tuesday against Greenville Rose.

The young, Golden Falcons showed signs of improvement through the second half, but never managed to consistently break through the Rampant defense in a 1-0 loss on a frigid afternoon.

Rose's Zena Webneh scored the game's lone goal eight minutes into the game -- floating a shot from the top of the box just past Aycock goalie Emily Stewart. Stewart, one of only two starters back from last year's co-Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference championship team, had a handful of tough stops through the game.

"With Emily back in goal, we are going to be leaning on her and the defense pretty heavily this season," Fidler said. "It's important for those players that are back to step up and be leaders."

With a roster with nine sophomores and six freshman, Fidler expects "growing pains" in the early-season, but hopes his team will be ready when the ECC season begins March 14.

"We had about seven juniors decide they didn't want to play again," Fidler said. "So, we basically have a lot of JV players up on varsity. We are going to be looking at a lot of players in a lot of different line-ups. Hopefully, we will be ready for conference season by the time it rolls around."

The Falcons played into the brisk wind in the first half and never managed a shot on goal.

Late in the first half, Rose's Chelsey Rassau and Sara Graber each had near misses on attempts to expand their team's lead. The Aycock defense stood its ground the rest of the way and limited the Rampants' chances, while the offense gradually picked up steam. In a 12-minute stretch early in the second half, the Falcons had three corner kicks with sophomore Lizzie Sodoma leading the attack down the right wing.

Sodoma's third corner kick attempt sailed perfectly into the box, but none of her teammates were able to run on to the pass and post a shot on goal. Minutes later, Sodoma turned in one more long run down the right side, before the Rampants' Ali Garris stepped in and stopped the attack.

Aycock returns to action Thursday afternoon at Wilson Beddingfield.