09/19/06 — Falcons open ECC play with home win

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Falcons open ECC play with home win

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 19, 2006 2:17 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock senior Carson Sasser knocked in a key insurance goal with 13 minutes left as the Golden Falcons held off Wilson Beddingfield 2-1 in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

Sasser's goal came on a long throw-in from David Burke that sailed through the Bruins' defense as Sasser ran on to the toss and booted it past Beddingfield goalie Israel Magana to make it 2-0.

The Bruins (7-3, 0-1 ECC) quickly countered just over one minute later when Omar Guerra scored on a penalty kick after a Bruin player was fouled in the box. The visitors threatened with several deep attacks in the waning minutes but didn't get another shot off the rest of the way.

"It wasn't pretty, but it was a win," Aycock coach Byron Adkins said. "I thought we dominated the game except for the last 10 minutes."

The reigning league champion Golden Falcons improved to 6-1-1 overall as they will take a 1-0 mark in conference play into Wednesday's contest at Kinston.

Aycock consistently threatened the Beddingfield defense in the attacking-third of the field but managed just one goal in the first 67 minutes of action.

It appeared as if the match was heading for a scoreless tie at halftime before the Falcons' Alex Rodriguez scored from close range with under two minutes left on an assist from Rich Holder to give the home team a 1-0 edge at intermission.

Aycock, which missed out on numerous chances from close range, finished with a 10-5 advantage in shots at halftime and outshot the Bruins 16-7 overall.

"Some nights you're just off, and we had an off night tonight with our finishing" Adkins said. "I thought we worked hard, but our touch and decision-making weren't there. Beddingfield played well defensively ... they posed a challenge for us."

Falcons goalie Jared Kennedy finished with four saves, and benefited from consistent play from sweeper Marcos Contreras and the Aycock defense.

Magana stopped seven shots for the Bruins.

"We didn't do a good job of covering in the last two minutes of the first half when a lot of goals are scored, and we didn't defend against the one long throw-in," first-year Beddingfield coach Maitland Barnes said. "We don't have anything to hang our heads about. They outshot us, but we held our ground."

The Bruins entertain Southern Wayne on Wednesday.