09/29/05 — Falcons prevail in overtime

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Falcons prevail in overtime

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 29, 2005 2:12 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Emotion.


Brilliant defense.

Missed scoring opportunities.

Then ... one timely goal.

Rich Holder converted a controversial goal in the first overtime as Charles B. Aycock turned back Eastern Wayne 3-1 and maintained sole possession of first place in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play Wednesday evening.

The Golden Falcons (6-4, 4-0 ECC) earned just their second win in program history against the Warriors and avenged a home overtime defeat last season. Eastern Wayne (4-4-2) endured its second league loss in its last three outings.

Trailing 1-0 in regulation, both teams received a momentary break when a Warrior defender suffered cramps past the midway point of the second half. Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins gathered the squad near the sideline and urged them to continue pushing and pressuring Eastern Wayne's defense.

"It will come," said a confident Adkins.

He was right.

Self-assured in their attack, the Golden Falcons' Alex Rodriguez drew a foul against Warrior keeper Vince Hagedorn just outside penalty area in the 73rd minute. Rodriguez chipped a direct kick over Eastern Wayne's defenders and the ball deflected off the crossbar.

Garrett Davis, who notched the game-winning goal Monday at Wilson Hunt, stayed with the play and headed the ball into the net for the 1-1 tie.

Still energized despite playing nearly 80 minutes without a substitution, Aycock missed two potential game-clinching shots inside the final two minutes. Rodriguez had one shot to bounce inches left of the near post and another go the same route on the opposite side.

During the short break before overtime, Adkins reminded his players of Monday's comeback victory.

"Don't give something away when you've worked too hard to reach this point," he said. "Don't give up on me."

Two minutes into the first overtime, Holder received a quick serve from Justin Hankins near midfield. Several Aycock players stopped to prevent the offsides infraction and Holder continued dribbling toward goal.

Hagedorn came off his line and dove toward the ball. Holder quickly flicked it underneath his outstretched hands and pumped his fists as the ball rolled untouched into goal.

"I hung back about five or ten yards off of them and as soon as the ball was kicked, I just sprinted in," said Holder. "I didn't see how I could have been offsides. The same thing happened to Carson (Sasser) in the first half.

"We were ready for that step play. I knew it was coming ... was ready for it."

The Warriors vehemently argued the call ... to no avail.

"The referee was about 15 yards behind the play," said Eastern Wayne coach Jorg Wagner. "We didn't fold after the second goal. But the third goal was pretty much a momentum breaker."

Rodriguez added a penalty kick in the 91st minute to prevent Aycock from receiving its first blemish in conference play. The Warriors lost for the first time in Pikeville after falling to Aycock two years ago in New Hope.

"Aycock played well ... to their strengths with Rodriguez and Davis," said Wagner.

Meanwhile the Golden Falcon defense, particularly Alex Toler and Hankins, kept Andrew Corley and Eric Bourgeois from getting untracked. Corley continues to recover from an early-season injury and Bourgeois had few good looks at the goal.

Eastern Wayne tried to work long balls on Aycock's tight field, which is marked three feet off the football field. The narrow playing surface bothers a ball-possession team like the Warriors and forces them to alter their style of play.

Each team missed agonizing shots on goal in the opening half, including two potential Warrior goals disallowed because of offsides. Each team received brilliant defensive play from its sweepers and keepers. Hagedorn recorded three saves, while Jake Bunn had 13 stops overall for the Golden Falcons.

Jin Lee finally broke the scoreless tie in the 51st minute when Bunn and Bourgeois scrambled for a loose ball in the 6-yard box. The ball deflected off Bunn and Lee hit a perfect strike to the far post.

Aycock continued to fire shots on goal and Hagedorn came up with two saves. Rodriguez just missed a direct kick and Holder fired a shot outside the 18 that scooted past the left post. After Davis tallied the equalizer, the junior forward failed to convert in the 77th minute on a shot similar to Holder.

"Two fantastic teams ... not much between us," said Adkins. "We played an absolute complete game for the first time I think since I've been here. Every player worked 150 percent tonight.

"Our boys played ironman tonight. We were fit ... running up and down the field and still doing things at the end. We had a chance to increase the lead."

The teams combined for 50 shots on goal and 37 fouls. Eastern Wayne led 6-5 in corner kicks, while Aycock drew four offsides penalties compared to three for the Warriors.

"The credit for the win goes all the way around," said Adkins. "I said the Hunt win was probably a lucky win, but I have to take that back after back-to-back wins like this.

"They're not luck wins. We deserve to be where we're at right now."