04/18/07 — Hunt takes sole possession of ECC women's soccer race

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Hunt takes sole possession of ECC women's soccer race

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 18, 2007 1:47 PM

Looks of frustration shrouded the faces of Eastern Wayne's soccer players as they broke the post-game huddle and went about their game maintenance duties.

Nearly a month ago, league rival Wilson Hunt spoiled the Warriors' quest for an unbeaten campaign in Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference regular-season play.

Tuesday evening, Hunt erased Eastern Wayne's visions of a possible share of the ECC crown. The visiting Warriors prevailed 4-1 on the Little Big Horn pitch and seized sole possession of the ECC at 6-0.

"I don't have a problem losing to a team that played better than we did tonight," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner. "We tried for a while ... actually the whole game was back and forth.

"They probably had a little bit better possession. Maybe we had, not more chances (on goal), but one or two more quality chances that we didn't take."

Hunt (11-4-1 overall) claimed its third win in four meetings against Eastern Wayne since joining the ECC in 2005. Senior Alex Calvert triggered the road victory with two second-half goals, giving her 34 for the season.

Lizzie Pittman headed in the visitors' first goal off Katie Wilson's corner kick past the midway point of the opening half. Freshman Allyson Fulghum provided a second-half goal off another Wilson corner kick.

"We're starting to come together a little bit and we've been working on the things in practice that we need to," said Hunt coach Scott Wofford. "I think they realized this was the most important game of the season. We had a few girls step up and play their positions the right way, and that was a big, big thing for us.

"I was very pleased with the way we played all night,"

Eastern Wayne missed a great chance to force a 1-1 tie just before halftime. Casie Edwards knocked a ball upfield to senior Natalie Taylor, who broke past three defenders and into open space.

Keeper Monica Campbell drifted off her line and covered the near post when Taylor moved into the penalty area. As the Hunt defenders closed in, Taylor took a right-footed shot that rolled just past the post and over the end line.

"She scores and it's a completely different game," said Wofford. "That shows you the funky nature of soccer. Not only do you have to play the other team, but sometimes you have to play the game itself.

"We were fortunate."

Calvert's first goal gave Hunt a 2-0 advantage. Fulghum's mark made it 3-0 until Taylor averted the shutout with a goal off Sam Frazer's assist.

Hunt finished with a 16-12 edge in shots on goal. Eastern Wayne keepers Brittany Spence and Danielle Daniels combined for eight saves. Spence spent nearly 15 minutes on the bench recovering from cramps in her left leg.

Eastern Wayne (7-7, 5-2 ECC) had posted four consecutive shutouts and five overall in six ECC outings until its second encounter with Hunt. The visiting Warriors have outscored Wagner's team 9-4 in their two meetings.

"I told our players if you play against a team that scores on you nine times in two games, they're probably the better team this time around," said Wagner. "Of course, we made mistakes and these are mistakes that other teams in the conference don't expose. Hunt does a good job of doing that to us and everybody else in the conference.

"Deservedly, I'm thinking they're going to take the conference championship after this.

Wilson Hunt 1 3 -- 4

Eastern Wayne 0 1 -- 1

First half

H -- Pittman (Wilson assist), 24th minute

Second half

H -- Calvert (unassisted), 45th minute

H -- Fulghum (Wilson assist), 59th minute

EW -- Taylor (Frazer assist), 60th minute

H -- Calvert (Raper assist), 70th minute

Shots on goal -- Hunt 16, Eastern Wayne 12. Corner kicks -- Hunt 5, Eastern Wayne 1. Fouls -- Hunt 11, Eastern Wayne 5. Offsides -- Hunt 2. Saves -- Hunt (Campbell 3), Eastern Wayne (Spence 6, Daniels 2).

Records: Hunt 11-4-1, 6-0 Eastern Carolina 3-A; Eastern Wayne 7-7, 5-2 ECC.