03/08/05 — Hawks remain undefeated on soccer field

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Hawks remain undefeated on soccer field

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 8, 2005 2:18 PM

North Lenoir's women's soccer team remained unbeaten in three outings and denied Eastern Wayne its first win of the season with a 2-1 victory at the Little Big Horn on Monday night.

The Hawks (3-0), returning eight starters from a squad that advanced to the third round of the Class 2-A N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs last season, scored twice on unassisted goals.

Junior midfielder Katie Maloney scored the lone goal of the first half, dribbling through the middle of the Warriors defense and slipping a shot past goalie Ashley Lish to make the score 1-0 with 19 minutes left in the first half.

With one if its leading returning scorers, Natalie Taylor, out with a pulled muscle, Eastern Wayne (0-3) managed a handful of deep attacks down the right wing by sophomore Samantha Fraser, but never managed to get on the scoreboard against the North Lenoir defense and goalie Febe Barraza.

Less than two minutes into the second half, the Hawks' Haley Bright broke through the heart of the Warriors defense in nearly the same fashion as Maloney.

"The second goal was even bigger. It made us play a little more comfortable. It's not as much pressure as coming from behind," North Lenoir coach Dan Amodeo said. "Eastern Wayne put on a lot of pressure in the second half, so that goal was really big.

"This is a good group we have, and we are still growing."

Late in the first half, Eastern Wayne coach Jorg Wager moved defender Tija Riley up front to assist Fraser. Riley's speed seemed to make the Hawks respect both forwards as Fraser consistently found more daylight on the left wing.

Eventually, Fraser got enough room to record the Warriors only goal of the contest. With 20 minutes left in the game, the sophomore forward settled the ball on the left side and near the top of the box, then knocked a shot to the back post and past Barazza while falling down.

Three minutes later, Eastern Wayne midfielder Leanna Rothwell came within inches of tying the game when her right-footed blast from nearly 35 yards out sailed over Barraza, but hit the upper right post and bounced out.

Fraser got one more breakaway attempt with 13 minutes left, but Barraza saved the attempt headed for the near post from point-blank range. Fraser's final shot capped a 20-minute momentum shift in the Warriors' favor that saw the home team outshoot the visitors from LaGrange 6-1.

"Not having Natalie makes a huge difference. She helps out as the second forward," Wagner said. "Samantha is good with the ball and had some good chances, and Leanna got a little unlucky with her prayer. Overall I was pleased with the attack, but defense comes first.

"It was unfortunate for us to give up a goal like we did right after halftime. Those are the kinds of goals we have been giving up in the first three games."

Defensively, Eastern Wayne limited the Maloney, Bright and the Hawks' dribbling in the second half with Lish doing a solid job of communicating and scooping up loose balls in the box.

Each team finished with nine shots on goal with Barraza grabbing five saves and Lish notching four stops.

North Lenoir hosts Charles B. Aycock on Thursday in Wheat Swamp, while the Warriors return to action on March 14 at Winterville South Central.