05/11/06 — Gryphons boot CBA from playoffs

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Gryphons boot CBA from playoffs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2006 2:13 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Somewhere between last week's incredible run in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament and Tuesday's opening-round playoff match, the Charles B. Aycock women's soccer team lost its swagger.

Even when Lizzie Sodoma notched a game-tying goal in the second half, the Golden Falcons hardly seemed like the same team that upset two higher-seeded opponents seven days ago.

"Maybe (last week) took something out of us, but it wasn't the same team out there today that beat Eastern Wayne and Hunt a week ago," said fourth-year Aycock coach John Fidler. "We didn't get the effort we needed."

Rocky Mount did.

Sophomore forward Ashley Pearsall notched two goals within a 13-minute stretch late in the second half and the Gryphons prevailed 3-1 in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A affair. Rocky Mount (15-5-1) is the guest of Currituck County on Saturday.

Aycock concluded the year 8-12-2.

"Rocky Mount was aggressive and was in good shape," said Fidler. "We just got out-played. There is no other way to explain it."

The Gryphons consistently organized their attack well and got solid distribution from their midfielders. Junior Anna Holland and freshman Jaime Jones split the Aycock defense with several through balls onto goal for either Pearsall, Heather Perkins, Jennifer Moore or Katherine Selheim.

Rocky Mount owned a 24-12 advantage in shots on goal and led 5-2 in corner kicks.

"I was pleased with the way we organized because we've been having problems with that all season long," said Gryphons coach Patrick Sensiba. "We did a better job with that today."

Aycock keeper Emily Stewart recorded six first-half saves as the teams battled to a scoreless tie at halftime.

Junior midfielder Anna Holland put RMSH on the board less than three minutes into the second half. The Golden Falcon defense cleared a ball from the box, but didn't push the ball forward to midfield. Holland stepped into an open space and served a ball on frame toward the back post.

Stewart back-pedaled briefly, but couldn't stop the ball from floating into the goal.

The Golden Falcons, who had their three-match win streak snapped, answered 14 minutes later. Sodoma drew a hard foul and took the free kick from about 30 yards from goal. Gryphon keeper Holly Campbell, a freshman, protected the near post but the high floater deflected off her gloves and into the top of the net.

It was Sodoma's third goal in postseason play and 10th overall.

Rocky Mount, of the NEW Athletic 6 Conference, dominated possession for the next 10 minutes and Pearsall got loose behind the Aycock defense. She converted a perfect shot on frame for the 2-1 lead and added an insurance goal in the 79th minute.

"They gave it (the space) to her," said Sensiba of Pearsall. "They were holding back a little bit after we got that first goal. She recognized she could play in the center of the field and take that (open) space.

"She's a good player and is going to get those kinds of opportunities."

Pearsall boosted her season total to 17 goals.

"We weren't aggressive going for the ball and we didn't respond real well," said Fidler. "We needed to step up our play and I don't feel like we did that today. I was real disappointed."