10/24/06 — Roosen's goal sends Aycock to ECC title match

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Roosen's goal sends Aycock to ECC title match

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 24, 2006 2:13 PM

Alex Roosen lived every soccer player's dream in one brief moment Monday evening. And it's a quick second he won't forget, either.

Roosen booted the game-winning goal in the 77th minute and top-seeded Charles B. Aycock avoided Eastern Wayne's ambush 2-1 at Little Big Horn. The Golden Falcons (16-2-1) posted their fifth consecutive victory and oppose Wilson Beddingfield for the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference men's soccer tournament title at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Beddingfield upended county rival Wilson Hunt 3-1 in the other semifinal. The Bruins (14-6-3) beat the Warriors for the second time this season and just the third time overall in school history.

"It was well-played for the most part," Eastern Wayne coach Jörg Wagner said. "I thought either team could have come out with a win. We pressed them enough to come out with a one-goal win.

"(We had) a good shot early on against the crossbar and then it went back-and-forth for a while."

Similar to their previous encounter exactly seven days ago, each team attempted to establish its style of play in the opening half. Aycock sent long balls out of the back to forwards Jorge Delgado and Alex Rodriguez. Eastern Wayne (8-10-2) played its patented and tactical possession game that eventually created some goal-scoring chances.

Each team misfired on its first five shots.

The Golden Falcons, who are 3-0 in ECC tournament contests, broke the scoreless tie in the 10th minute. Delgado gained possession near the left sideline and passed over to Rodriguez, who zipped between two Warrior defenders and managed to stay onside.

Warrior keeper Vincent Hagedorn momentarily stepped off his line to challenge Rodriguez and that was all the space the quick-footed striker needed. Rodriguez drilled the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 advantage.

"We do the same thing game in, game out and it works well for us," said Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins.

Eastern Wayne continued its patient attack.

The Warriors ripped several shots on frame that either bounced wide or barely sailed over the crossbar. The missed scoring chances teased a boisterous Eastern Wayne crowd that desperately wanted to see its team pull off the upset.

They got louder in the 39th minute.

Matt Wolf blasted a shot from the left side and Aycock keeper Jared Kennedy crouched down to block the ball. The ball deflected off his chest and rolled to the foot of captain Dustin Smith, who booted it into an empty net for the 1-1 tie.

Smith has scored three goals in his last two outings.

The intensity increased and play became more physical in the second half. The teams combined for numerous fouls and peppered their respective goals with shots that either hit the post or crossbar.

Neither team successfully converted its corner-kick or throw-in opportunities.

"On the throw-ins, we were missing a lot and couldn't seem to put it away," said Roosen. "(Play) was a lot more frantic in the second half. I thought we were going to give up some careless goals just because we were starting to panic when time started running down.

"I really thought they were going to score off one of our careless mistakes."

A foul led to Roosen's game-winning goal. As the referee moved Eastern Wayne's defenders 10 yards off the ball, Roosen contemplated his choices on the direct kick.

He hesitated.

Delgado yelled "shot!"

Roosen launched a 35-yard rocket toward the upper left corner and it clanged off the post -- but -- the ball bounced inside the goal line past a diving Hagedorn.

"At first, I wasn't going to shoot," said a grinning Roosen. "It was pretty much 90, top left. I didn't think it was going to hit the frame. It's pretty much every soccer player's dream to score (the game-winner) when it's 1-1."

It was Roosen's fifth goal of the season.

C.B. Aycock earned its fifth consecutive victory in the series and moved into position to defend its tournament crown against the fourth-seeded Bruins. The teams split their regular-season meetings with each winning on its home pitch.

"It's about matchups and I think we match up better with Beddingfield than we do with Eastern Wayne," said Adkins. "We need to defend a little bit better instead of jumping in. They've got some good forwards and if you jump in against them, they're going to go around you and score goals.

"We need to do a better job in the back and see how it works out."