10/17/06 — C.B. Aycock claims ECC men's soccer title

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C.B. Aycock claims ECC men's soccer title

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 17, 2006 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Appalled by his team's lack of execution on set plays in recent contests, Charles B. Aycock assistant men's soccer coach Byron Adkins couldn't have been more enthralled Monday evening.

The Golden Falcons converted three first-half goals on either throw-ins or restarts off fouls, and rolled past archrival Eastern Wayne 5-2 on the Hardy Talton Stadium pitch. With the victory, Aycock (14-2-1) seized its second consecutive Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season title and secured the No. 1 seed for the state playoffs.

Adkins conferred recent practices paid dividends against the Warriors.

Alex Roosen's 28-yard strike off Patrick Schultze's assist on a direct kick opened the scoring in the third minute. The Golden Falcons (8-1 ECC) added two goals off throw-ins before the first half concluded.

"A lot of things we did on the training ground worked for us," said Adkins. "I was mad because they weren't doing what we wanted to do (on set pieces) and we worked on it the last couple of days.

"I told the boys we're going to work this out and this is how it's going to be. We worked on the corner kicks and throw-ins, and the throw-ins paid off for us tonight."

Roosen, who collected his fourth goal of the season, started a three-goal surge within an 11-minute stretch. Carson Sasser, with his back to the goal mouth, headed a throw-in to the near post off David Burke's assist.

Jorge Delgado received a through ball from Alex Rodriguez and easily sprinted past two Warrior defenders toward goal. Keeper Vince Hagedorn attempted a slide tackle outside the box, but Delgado kept his stride and tucked the ball into the empty net.

"Our defense in the first half was non-existent," said Warrior coach Jorg Wagner. "There was no communication going on. People were not getting their proper assignment, and we were looking at players running around in the box instead of attacking the ball.

"We make blunders and they brutally capitalize on them. They have us out of the game before it really gets going."

C.B. Aycock, which remained unbeaten in eight home outings, collected an "own goal" in the 28th minute. Delgado and Rodriguez hooked up for the Golden Falcons' final goal with 30 seconds remaining before halftime.

Delgado and Rodriguez have a combined 39 goals and 15 assists this season. In 16 matches, the Golden Falcons have outscored the opposition 62-31, including a 31-14 advantage in conference play.

"Except for the score really, we didn't play poorly in the first half," said Wagner. "It was a clash of two systems. Aycock prefers to send long, probing balls and have either Delgado or Rodriguez run onto it. They were successful getting the foul called or actually getting through.

"The long ball was not a problem after the half any more. I was pleased that we stuck with what I know will work best for us in the long run and that is to play a ball-control game."

Eastern Wayne (6-9-2) played with more conviction in the second half and controlled most of the balls in the air. The Warriors organized better, connected on crisp passes against the Aycock defense and posted two quick goals within a three-minute stretch.

Junior Robbie Keys blasted a goal-scoring shot from the right side to the far post in the 52nd minute. Junior Werner Wooten added a rebound shot in the 55th minute after Aycock keeper Jared Kennedy deflected the ball from goal.

"They put us on our back foot a little bit," said Adkins. "I think we created our own problems in the back and I don't think it was really anything they did. You have to give them credit for coming out and pressing like they did."

C.B. Aycock owned a 21-11 edge in shots on goal. Kennedy and Hagedorn each had six saves in the 80-minute affair. Each team attempted three corner kicks.

The Golden Falcons claimed their second straight regular-season sweep of the Warriors. Adkins' team picked up its 17th regular-season victory in 19 tries against ECC foes since 2005.

"We're back-to-back champions for the first time in school history," said Adkins.

Meanwhile, the Warriors slipped to 3-5-1 in conference play and entertain Kinston in a crucial contest on Wednesday. The winner draws the league's fourth and final berth for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Aycock plays host to Southern Wayne.