10/04/05 — Falcons off to best conference start ever

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Falcons off to best conference start ever

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 4, 2005 2:07 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock's soccer program reached uncharted territory after a 6-0 win at home over Southern Wayne on Monday.

The Golden Falcons (7-3 overall) completed the first half of Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play with an unblemished 5-0 record -- marking their best start in conference play since the program began in 1992. With the win over the Saints, Aycock also improved to 4-0 against Wayne County teams this season.

"It feels really good with everybody chasing us in the conference. Hopefully that will continue in the second half ... the good fortune we've had," Aycock coach Byron Adkins said. "To be 5-0 in the first half is great right now for us. What I'm most proud of is the commitment. We have a new thing now, 'Don't give up. Don't give up on yourself, me or your teammates.'

"We may not be as talented as most teams are, but we've got the most heart."

Southern Wayne (1-6 overall) exited with a 1-4 slate in the ECC with their lone win through seven games coming against Kinston.

On a night where five of their six goals came off of either corner kicks or penalty kicks, it took the Falcons only five minutes to get on the board.

On a cross from the right wing on a corner from Alex Rodriguez, Taylor Beamon headed home the opening goal to make it 1-0 at the 35-minute mark.

Less than 10 minutes later, Southern Wayne was whistled for the first-of-two hand balls inside the 18-yard box -- giving Aycock a penalty kick. Tyler Mills took advantage of the opportunity, stepping up to knock home his first goal of the season past the diving Saint goalie, Casey Best.

Aycock finished with 11 corner kicks in the first half and 15 on the game, while Southern Wayne had none.

Offensively, the Saints struggled to generate an attack through the game as Aycock consistently won balls in the midfield and at the top of its defense, then distributed the ball up front. Meanwhile, despite giving up their fair share of corners and shots, Best and the Southern Wayne defense kept the Falcons from scoring out of the flow of their attack through the first 40 minutes.

"We knew they were going to be quicker and more aggressive than anyone else we have seen," Southern Wayne coach Michael Wiggs said. "They are top-notch, so we wanted to approach this game defensively. I thought we contained (Garrett) Davis and (Alex) Rodriguez and overall our effort and heart was there.

"We left everything on the field we possibly could."

The Falcons finished off the scoring in the first half as Justin Castnati headed in a corner from the left side by Alex Roosen just minutes before the end of the half. The goal was Castnati's first of the year.

Aycock's efficiency in dead-ball situations continued after the intermission.

Two minutes into the second frame, Jeff Mullins knocked in a penalty kick after the Saints' second handball in the box -- pushing the score to 4-0.

Minutes later, Davis picked up the first of his two goals -- heading in a corner from the right side by Rodriguez. With 19 minutes left, Davis completed the scoring, settling a loose ball near the right wing, then firing a low, long shot that got through the Saint defense and Best to make it 6-0.

"I'm not happy with us not getting goals out of the flow of the attack. Getting goals off of set-pieces, it shows you aren't working hard enough to create opportunities," Adkins said. "In the past, we've scored a lot of goals on set-pieces, but I like to get more goals out of the flow of play."

Southern Wayne's Mario Segura nearly struck for a goal at the 14:50 mark. Segura won a ball down the right side as Aycock goalie Jake Bunn came out of the goal to attempt to scoop up the loose ball. With Bunn out of the goal, Segura fired a shot on goal, only to see Bunn hustle back and slide to save the rolling shot attempt.

Rarely tested, Bunn and Jared Kennedy combined on Aycock's first shutout of the season.

The Falcons out-shot the Saints 17-3 on the match. Best finished with eight saves, while Bunn stopped two shots.

When the second half of the ECC schedule begins on Wednesday, Aycock hosts Wilson Beddingfield as Southern Wayne travels to Eastern Wayne.