08/24/06 — Falcons blank WCDS

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Falcons blank WCDS

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on August 24, 2006 2:43 PM

PIKEVILLE -- With a handful of first-year varsity starters mixed with a solid corps of returnees, Charles B. Aycock coach Byron Adkins is looking to build consistency in non-league play before the Golden Falcons begin defense of their Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference crown.

Despite scoring just one goal after intermission in their 3-0 win at home on Wednesday against a talented Wayne Country Day squad, Adkins was pleased with his teams' performance in the second half.

"We had a lackluster performance in the first half, but in the second half we played better and possessed the ball," Adkins said. "We probably should have scored five or six goals tonight. We've got some freshmen and sophomores playing really well right now."

"We played really well at times, then really poor at times tonight. We just need to be more consistent."

Using its depth and possession game to its advantage, Aycock finished with an 8-2 edge in shots in the last 40 minutes and consistently kept the pressure on the Chargers' defense.

Sophomore standout Alex Rodriquez knocked in the final score of the match with 18 minutes left -- scoring from close range past WCDS goalie Brandon Davis. Davis, an 8th grader, posted five of his eight saves in the second half.

Less than one minute after Rodriguez's goal, the Chargers' Joseph Cha got off his teams' first shot of the second half. The visitors' best opportunity to score in the final frame came with just under 10 minutes left when Ryan Ford's low attempt from near the top of the box was knocked wide of the goal with a diving save by Aycock senior goalie Jared Kennedy.

Kennedy finished with five saves in the shutout.

"We did a good job defensively for the most part ... they only had one or two good shots on goal," Adkins said.

The Golden Falcons struck for two goals in the first half, but the first 40 minutes proved to be much more competitive end-to-end. Aycock senior captain Carson Sasser had a near miss off of a deep pass into the corner by Rodriguez on the first kickoff. Seven minutes later, WCDS' Cameron Ford just shot wide of the goal from close range.

In the eighth minute of play, Rodriguez's corner kick flicked off the head of Sasser to junior Alex Roosen, who banged home the first score. It took the Falcons 18 minutes to make it 2-0 when a nice series of passes from Andrew Musselman to co-captain Rich Holder to Jorge Delgado resulted in the final goal of the first half.

WCDS senior Sam Steed nearly got the Chargers on the board 12 minutes into the game on a boot from nearly 40 yards out, but the long try was tipped over the goal by Kennedy. Ryan Ford's header attempt on a long throw-in by Jeff Franklin proved to be WCDS' final dangerous attempt of the first half.

"We had two really good chances in the first half, but sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't," Estrada said. "But you can't dwell on those mistakes, you just have to learn from them."

Aycock owned a 6-3 advantage in shots before intermission and had four corners to the Chargers' one.

Despite the loss, Estrada was pleased with his squad's performance against a deeper, 3-A public school team.

"Last year when we played them here the game got out of hand," Estrada said. "Playing a bigger, faster team with a larger talent pool will only make us stronger."

The Chargers return to action on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. against Community Christian at The Brittany Tournament at the Burt Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson. The Falcons travel to North Lenoir on Aug. 28. WCDS and Aycock meet again on Sept. 21 at the Chargers' field.