By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on April 13, 2006 2:05 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Despite missing two key starters due to a school-related trip overseas, the Charles B. Aycock women's soccer team turned in a solid 80-minute effort against Wilson Hunt on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the absence of Lizzie Sodoma and Abby Caplinger proved crucial - especially defensively -- in a 2-0 loss to the Warriors. Hunt improved to 9-7-1 overall and remained tied with Eastern Wayne for the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference lead at 7-1.
C.B. Aycock, which had its Senior Day festivities spoiled, dipped to 5-10-1 overall and 4-3-1 in league play.
His team already depleted by injuries, Golden Falcons head coach John Fidler opted to start three freshmen -- Caitlin Richards, Melina Gibson and Stephanie Orosco -- to help fill the void left by Sodoma and Caplinger.
"We had some girls to step up," said Fidler. "We're trying to patch things together. Lizzie has a strong leg and we have a hard time clearing the ball out of our defensive end without her leg.
"We don't have anyone else who can be a weapon like she is."
The Warriors exploited the Golden Falcons' defensive weakness by stepping into open spaces and intercepting numerous balls throughout the afternoon. Aycock's inconsistent passing and its inability to organize attacks through its midfield allowed to Hunt to gain numerous possessions on its offensive side of the field.
The Warriors fired 24 shots on goal, including 11 by junior striker Alex Calvert. Keeper Emily Stewart, one of seven Aycock seniors playing her final regular-season home game, collected 10 saves.
"It was real difficult," admitted Fidler.
Hunt misfired on 10 shots in the opening half and had three attempts bounce just wide of the post. Aycock defender Angela Lane, a senior, didn't let Calvert get any good looks at the goal. Defenders Chelsey Jackson, a junior, and Margaret Connolly, a sophomore, each played solid defense in the back along with Stewart.
The teams battled to a scoreless tie at halftime.
"We had shots ... not great shots," said Hunt coach Scott Wofford. "We didn't get great looks and most were outside the 18, but you can't argue with those. It was really about energy because this was our third game in a row, and we were worried about our fitness level.
"We wanted to switch the ball, but we didn't pass as well as we should have. We made the plays when we needed them."
Calvert broke the 0-0 deadlock six minutes into the second half. Aycock's defense failed to properly clear a ball from the penalty area, and Calvert gained possession near the right post. She fired a right-footed shot toward the far post past Stewart's out-stretched hands and into the goal.
The Warriors added an "own" goal in the 61st minute when the Golden Falcons miscommunicated defensively while attempting to clear another loose ball. A rolling shot from the left side deflected off a defender at the far post and barely rolled over the goal line.
Aycock attempted just four shots on goal -- two each by senior Rebekah Katko and junior midfielder Amanda Schlaeppi. Schlaeppi just missed converting a goal in the final two minutes of the first half. Hunt keeper Monica Campbell stopped both of Katko's direct attempts on goal.
"The few chances we did get was just our forwards running onto a couple of balls," said Fidler. "We just couldn't score. I thought the girls played tough and we'll get after Eastern Wayne after the break."
The teams meet April 24 in New Hope. Eastern Wayne won the first meeting 2-1.
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