Taking a huge step forward
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 1, 2005 2:30 PM
PIKEVILLE -- After struggling out of the gate in their first two games, Charles B. Aycock's soccer team took a strong step forward on Wednesday at home against Wayne Country Day.
The Golden Falcons (1-2) got two goals each from junior Carson Sasser and freshman Alex Rodriguez, who posted his first varsity goals, as Aycock raced past the Chargers 7-1 at Hardy Talton Stadium.
Sasser scored the Falcons' first two -- taking one assist each from Rich Holder and Garrett Davis, who found Sasser with a long, throw-in to make it 2-0 just 20 minutes into the contest.
Six minutes later, Davis posted a goal on a header on a long cross from the right corner by Rodriguez, before Rodriguez tallied the first of his two goals to make it 4-0 before halftime. Aycock outshot the Chargers 8-3 at intermission and 17-7 overall.
"We needed some leadership and tonight it came through. We've got a lot of seniors and a lot of juniors and it's about time they stepped up," Aycock coach Byron Adkins said. "We scored goals tonight and that's a good thing. Tonight was a stepping stone for us."
The loss was the first of the season for Wayne Country Day (3-1), who didn't get on track offensively until late in the game with the score out of reach.
After Rodriguez, who finished with two goals and two assists, and Jorge Delgado scored to make it 6-0 in the second half, the Chargers' Will Futrelle got his team on the board with just under 10 minutes left. Futrelle shook off several defenders, then scored past the diving Aycock goalie for his seventh goal in four games.
"We came out and played a little lackadaisical. We watched them play, instead of playing them," Wayne Country Day coach Paul Estrada said. "The second half we came out a little harder and aggressive and the defense tightened up."
On a pass from his knees, Rodriguez tapped the ball to his right to sophomore Alax Roosen, who took several dribbles, then drilled home the Falcons' final goal with under two minutes to go.
Traditionally, Aycock has used their its up top and almost exclusively looked to play long balls to the forwards to fuel the scoring. This year, Adkins likes his teams' ability to possess the ball from back-to-front and was happy to see the strategy work against an opponent.
"The last few years, we've played the long ball to Garrett (Davis) and teams knew where it was going to go," Adkins said. "This year, we've added more touch and we're going to try some possession. It worked tonight and hopefully it will the rest of the year."
The impressive goal total was obviously a big factor, but the Golden Falcons also turned in solid play in the midfield and in the back against a usually-potent Wayne Country Day offense. Charger scorers Sam Steed and Futrelle never found their rhythm as Bennett Jeffreys and the Aycock defense consistently contained its opponent and cleared the ball up to the forwards.
"They have the numbers and the subs and a heck of a lot more seniors than I do," Estrada said. "I would say in a couple of years we could come down here and give them a run for their money."
The Golden Falcons have about as many seniors and juniors on their roster (14) than Wayne Country Day has total players (15).
The game proved especially physical in both halves. The two county foes combined for 37 fouls (including hand balls) as Aycock had one yellow/red ejection in the second half. The player will not have to sit out the next game.
Jake Bunn, Jared Kennedy and Kyle Laflamme combined for six saves in goal for the Falcons. Travis Ford and David Wilson finished with nine saves for the Chargers.
Both teams return to action on Tuesday as Aycock hosts Wilson Fike in non-conference action, while Wayne Country Day travels to Rocky Mount Academy in its Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference opener.
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