09/08/05 — Warriors-Eagles finish in 3-3 tie

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Warriors-Eagles finish in 3-3 tie

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 8, 2005 2:00 PM

In his first game since returning from a mild concussion suffered two weeks ago, Eastern Wayne's Andrew Corley scored a natural hat-trick with three goals in the first half as the Warriors and Wilmington Ashley played to a 3-3 tie at Little Big Horn on Wednesday night.

The game was a true tale of two halves.

Corley posted goals at 10:15, 12:30 and 33:25 of the first half, only to see the Class 4-A Eagles bounce back to score three after halftime -- all on headers -- to push the score to its final margin.

Ashley defeated the Warriors 5-0 in Wilmington on Aug. 29.

"I told the boys at halftime that after beating us 5-0 that they probably took us lightly," Eastern Wayne coach Jörg Wagner said. "At halftime, they (Ashley) woke up and changed a few things around.

"It was still a big improvement for us."

With just under four minutes left in the game, Eastern Wayne senior defender Chris Brown was hit in the face with the ball from close range on a hard-kicked clear by a teammate. Brown, who was conscious, laid still on the ground for minutes and was eventually taken by the EMS to Wayne Memorial Hospital.

Each coach agreed to stop the physical, non-conference contest at that point.

"He got spun around and got hit in the face by the clearance of the ball off the foot of one of our own players. It's kind of like taking a punch from a boxer," Wagner said. "I'm sure he had a concussion."

In a first half that saw Eastern Wayne outshoot its visitors from New Hanover County 7-3 and control most of the possession, Corley started the scoring by knocking a penalty kick past the Eagle goalie with 10:15 gone in the first.

Just over two minutes later, Corley won a loose ball outside the box, beat one defender, then scored past the defenseless keeper to make it 2-0. The senior and the Warriors leading, returning scorer completed his hat trick with a goal off of a header from close range on an assist from his twin brother, Adam Corley.

"That's what the kid did last year," Wagner said of Corley. "He shows up at the right place and puts the ball in the net. He has a knack for the goal, and he finishes well."

Ashley's best chance to score came late in the first half when Joey Keenan fired a hard shot on goal from the right wing, but Warrior goalie Vincent Hagedorn made a save to keep the Eagles off of the board.

"We stepped out here tonight after beating them 5-0 and our guys thought they had it," Ashley coach Giles Roberts said. "No marking, all we did was play long balls and we stabbed the whole first half. It could have easily been 6 or 7-0 in the first half.

"This is much more what we expected from Eastern Wayne than what we saw in Wilmington."

It didn't take long for Ashley to strike after intermission.

On a corner kick four minutes into the half, Brett King found Keenan at the back post as an unmarked Keenan headed the ball past Hagedorn.

Ten minutes later, King dished out the second of three assists. The junior lofted an indirect kick into the middle of the box as Jason Meyer dashed in from the right, dove onto the pass and knocked a header in midair into the goal to cut the Warrior lead to 3-2.

Shawn Guderain eventually tied the game with 18 minutes left, once again, heading in a shot from a cross to the back post by King. The Warriors were whistled for a trip in the box 17 minutes into the half, but Ashley's penalty kick sailed high -- keeping the game at 3-2 at that point.

"The marking on the back post was not there for us today. We've worked on that and obviously we'll need to work on it some more," Wagner said. "When you get beat on a ball to the back post three times, that's unacceptable."

Eastern Wayne was outshot 7-2 in the second half and 10-9 overall. Hagedorn finished with five saves in goal for the Warriors. Four yellow cards were issued in the second, three to Ashley and one to Eastern Wayne. The two teams where whistled for 24 fouls in the second half (including hand balls).

The Warriors should have center midfielder Dustin Smith (quadriceps) back for next Tuesday's game at North Lenoir, while Erik Rivera (collarbone) is still out for another two weeks, according to Wagner.