Crow scores all five goals in WCDS playoff victory
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 14, 2006 2:18 AM
Wayne Country Day forward Georgia Crow has been a consistent force up front for the Chargers all season -- posting a team-best 29 goals and dishing out 15 assists in the regular season.
In the first round of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class women's soccer 1-A playoffs, Crow took her game to another level.
The 5-foot-1 junior tallied a career-high five goals -- using her speed and dribbling skills to penetrate the Northwood Temple defense -- as the eighth-seeded Chargers claimed a 5-3 victory over the ninth-seeded Eagles.
"There's always a right moment when I have to shoot. If I'm not in that moment, it won't go in," said Crow, a transfer student for England. "Today it felt like I was in that moment every time. It just came naturally ... I went with the flow."
The win sends WCDS (13-6) into a quarterfinal match at No. 1 seed Covenant Day School (20-1-1) in Matthews on Tuesday. On its way to winning the state title last year, Covenant Day defeated the Chargers 10-0 in the semifinals. The Chargers have won eight of their last nine heading into Tuesday's contest.
"It feels great to get this one ... I never had any doubt in these girls. I think we should have been seeded a little higher, but we're here to play and we're here to win," WCDS coach Paul Estrada said. "We're not going to roll over for anybody, no matter how good they are."
After Northwood's Deidra Debnam got her team on the board eight minutes into the game, Crow scored twice in the first half. One minute after Debnam opened the scoring, Crow equalized the match with a goal off of a long run down the right side of the field. She put the home team ahead for good midway through the half on a similar run -- out-racing the last Eagle defender, then firing backpost and past the Northwood goalie to make it 2-1.
Both teams had their fair share of chances to increase their score before halftime as the Eagles finished with a slim 7-6 edge in shots in the first half. WCDS goalie Ellen Elmore, who had seven saves on the game, finished with three saves in the first 40 minutes, including a tough stop just before halftime on a shot from close range by Debnam.
The second half started much like the first, only the order of scoring was reversed.
Crow got her third goal on a long, direct kick from the right side that sailed into the net to push the score to 3-1. The two-goal lead would be short-lived as Debnam pulled the Eagles back within one on a follow shot just one minute later.
Northwood (12-4-1) would not get any closer.
Crow made it 4-2 with 29 minutes left on a tough shot from the left wing -- settling a loose ball with defenders around her and knocking the ball just inside the near post. Six minutes later, the fleet-footed forward made another one of her patented runs down the right wing to tally her fifth and final goal.
Stephanie Knutson and Virginia Best also did a solid job up front for the Chargers -- consistently putting pressure on the visitors' defense. Kayla Flanagan, Caroline Lewis and Molly Peacock led WCDS defensively.
With just under two minutes left, Chellie Redinbo posted Northwood's final goal on another follow shot. The Eagles finished with a 14-10 edge in shots on the game.
In order for his team to be competitive at Covenant Day, Estrada believes the team must turn in an improved effort defensively.
"The team we will face will be big, fast and aggressive. Before we leave, we're going to work on containing real well and try to squeeze out a close win," he said.
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