Warriors open with win
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on August 23, 2005 1:56 PM
Andrew Corley sat behind the fence beside the home bleachers at Eastern Wayne as his team began play in the second half against Wilson Fike. The Wayne County EMS attended to him after the senior suffered a mild concussion -- linked to a collision early in the first half with the Golden Demon goalie.
Corley, last year's leading scorer for the Warriors, was eventually transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital and will be out of action the next two weeks. Still, his teammates impressively played through the absence of one of their offensive catalysts against a competitive Golden Demon opponent.
Jin Lee, one of 10 Eastern Wayne seniors, had a huge offensive night with two goals and three assists -- including one in the first half to Corley -- as the Warriors dropped Fike 5-3 at Little Big Horn.
Veteran Eastern Wayne coach Jörg Wagner complemented his upper classmen for maintaining their focus with an intregal part of their attack, Corley, out in the second half against a competitive, Fike team.
"Even with Andrew out, the boys knew how to pick up their game," said Wagner, who returns only three starters. "We don't have many players the quality of Andrew, but these kids don't get rattled that easy."
With mostly Warrior substitutes in the game, the Demons' Fernando Guzzman, who finished with a hat trick (three goals), posted two goals in a three-minute stretch -- pushing the score to its final outcome with four minutes left.
Besides the two late breakdowns, the Eastern Wayne defense did a solid job of marking, containing and keeping most of Fike's shot attempts from outside the 18-yard box for most of the game. On top of that, sophomore sweeper Matt Wolf and fellow defenders Chris Brown (Sr.) and Justin Smith (Sr.) helped fuel the Warriors' possession-game out of the back.
"Matt has been phenomenal for us. He sat out last year because he was out of district," Wagner said. "He plays club soccer in Raleigh as an outside back. The center back is one of the most important positions for us. He reads the game well, avoids unnecessary passing and organizes us well in the back."
Sophomore goalie Vincent Hagedorn, taking over for three-year starter and graduate Steven Stackhouse, had several diving saves and finished with nine stops on the game.
First-year Warrior, junior Erik Rivera started the scoring in the 13th minute of the first half, mere minutes after entering the game as a substitute. On a corner kick from the right sideline, Lee served the first of his three assists -- booting a line drive across the field as Rivera ran on to the kick and headed it past the Fike goalie.
Seven minutes later, Lee won a ball near midfield and dribbled down the middle. Corley quickly dashed to his left as Lee approached, and Lee placed an accurate pass to Corley, who fired left-footed, back post to make it 2-0.
From there, Guzzman and Fike had several shots, eventually evening the shot total for the first half at 8-8, but Hagedorn and the Warrior defense kept the visitors off the scoreboard.
"We both got good looks, but they finished and their keeper had some decent saves against us," Fike coach Toni Varacchi said. "They are a good team though. They pass the ball well ... a lot of one and two touches."
In the second half, the Golden Demons had some early momentum, but the Warriors struck first. On a cross from Lee from the far, left wing, senior Eric Bourgeois ran on to a pass from Lee and knocked in a shot from close range to push it to 3-0 five minutes into the half.
Guzzman converted the first of his three goals six minutes later -- scoring on a penalty kick after Eastern Wayne was called for a hand ball in the box.
He nearly cut it to 3-2 shortly after. At the 57-minute mark, Guzzman fired a shot at Hagedorn, who provided a diving save to his left. As the ball rolled out, Brown alertly cleared it out of bounds.
Lee got into the scoring with two unassisted goals in the second half. His first came with 18 minutes left, when he scored on a loose ball off of a throw-in. Lee got his final goal nine minutes later -- blasting a left-footed shot past the Fike keeper on a free kick from near the top of the 18-yard box.
"Fantastic. Jin Lee had a hand in all of our goals. Dustin Smith also set our forwards up as well. We played a solid possession game I thought," Wagner said.
Guzzman posted his two unanswered goals with six and four minutes left, respectively, but it proved too-little, too-late for Fike.
The Warriors eventually out-shot the Demons 15-14.
Eastern Wayne returns to action on Thursday at home against North Lenoir at 7 p.m.
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