03/30/06 — Warriors nip Falcons

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Warriors nip Falcons

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on March 30, 2006 2:02 PM

PIKEVILLE -- One streak may have ended for the Eastern Wayne girl's soccer team, but one streak continued after the Warriors' 2-1 win at Charles B. Aycock.

Eastern Wayne gave up its first goal in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play in nearly 159 minutes of action when the Golden Falcons' Amanda Schlaeppi booted home a left-footed goal to push the score to its final margin late in the game.

Aycock turned in improved play through the second half, but it proved too little, too late as the Warriors (4-6-1 overall) remained unbeaten in the ECC at 4-0 with one game left in the first half of the conference slate.

"We've only given up one goal in conference play, and the players are developing a lot of confidence in each other," Eastern Wayne coach Jörg Wagner said. "We're coming along in a way that we are understanding the game and our system better, and it shows."

The Falcons (3-8 overall) slipped to 2-2 in the conference.

Wagner saw his team jump out to a 2-0 lead at halftime behind similar play they have displayed in their first three league games -- disciplined, aggressive defense and opportunistic offense.

Ten minutes into the game, Kasie Edwards got Eastern Wayne on the board when she won a loose ball outside the box, settled the ball to her right foot, then ripped a shot towards goal. As Aycock goalie Emily Stewart moved to her right, the shot hit a Falcon defender, changing its trajectory to the left as it found the net.

Five minutes later, the Warriors' Natalie Taylor made it 2-0 as she ran down a long pass from the midfield behind the Aycock defense, then side-stepped Stewart as she came out and knocked into an open net.

The rest of the half was mostly locked in a defensive struggle as the Warriors carried a 5-3 edge in shots into halftime.

Aycock coach John Fidler was displeased with his teams' inability to match Eastern Wayne's aggressiveness in the first half.

"We're young and we have trouble starting with the right intensity level. When you play a team like Eastern Wayne, you've got to get after every ball from the beginning," he said. "We've got a lot of things to work on."

Fidler's squad proved much more assertive after intermission, but the Warrior midfield and defense still consistently cleared out most of Aycock's deep attacks until Schlaeppi's goal in the waning minutes.

The Falcons held a 6-5 edge in shots in the second half.

First-year goalie Brittany Spence finished with seven saves for Eastern Wayne, while Stewart stopped eight shots for Aycock. Eastern Wayne missed out on two golden chances to increase its lead as Stewart stopped a pair of penalty kicks -- one in each half.

"The score was close, but it could have been more in our favor," Wagner said.

Aycock will take on North Johnston on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in The Brittany Tournament at Gillette Soccer Park in Wilson. The Warriors face Kinston in ECC action on Monday.