Freshman leads Warriors to win
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 10, 2007 1:49 PM
Eastern Wayne freshman Brandi Dean played with energy and displayed her blazing speed in her varsity debut Wednesday evening.
However, the soft-spoken forward admitted she needed a little work on her shooting. Dean misfired on her first two shot attempts and got lucky on the third as the Warriors blanked D.H. Conley 1-0 on a rain-soaked Little Big Horn pitch.
Eastern Wayne (13-7 overall) travels to Currituck County for a second-round, N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A playoff contest on Saturday. A game time has not been determined.
Warrior head coach Jorg Wagner elevated Dean to the varsity team after senior Sam Frazer suffered a knee injury last Friday against Wilson Hunt. Frazer watched from the bench and is expected to undergo an MRI this afternoon.
"Brandi has done well on the junior varsity this season and with Sam out, we needed to make a decision," said Wagner. "We don't really have any true forwards. We'd like to play Tijah (Riley) up there, but she is our top marker (on defense).
"Brandi was a good option and justified the confidence we had in her today with the winning goal."
The Warriors dominated possession in the opening half, but settled on a scoreless draw at halftime. They outshot the Vikings 9-1 and attempted six corner kicks.
"We created plenty of chances, but were a little bit unfortunate," said Wagner. "Not having Sam for this game is probably part of the reason. She would probably stick in a few of them with her ability.
"I was confident at halftime that we would put in one or two."
Eastern Wayne collected the one goal it needed in the 48th minute.
Carol Reinier threw a slippery ball into the box toward goal scorers Natalie Taylor and Kasie Edwards. Neither got a touch on it and Viking keeper Callie Haithcock couldn't smother it at the near post.
The ball bounced off Haithcock and Dean curled the game-winning shot between Haithcock and the post.
"We always try to look for Natalie or Kasie, who are open all the time and can score pretty well," said Reinier. "It was unexpected."
"I was in the right place at the right time," said Dean, who added her first-half shots should have been toward the far post, and ironically, not toward the near post.
D.H. Conley (6-12-1) hardly threatened from that point. Eastern Wayne owned decisive edges in shots (16-1) and corner kicks (11-1), and kept possession at least 80 percent of the time in the second half.
"There was nothing spectacular about the way we played," said Wagner. "It was straightforward. (We) bridged the midfield as soon as we could and with our fast forwards, we wanted to see if we could put pressure on them and we did.
"Brandi's goal was good hustle on her part."
The Vikings threatened in the final 10 minutes with three strong pushes into the 18-yard box. Defenders Riley and Anna Hajjar helped turn back Conley each time and freshman keeper Danielle Daniel notched her first career shutout in postseason play.
"It was a close game and I'd like to think we could score a few more," said Wagner. "But one is all you need and I'm happy with it."
D.H. Conley 0 0 -- 0
Eastern Wayne 0 1 -- 0
EW -- Dean (Reiner assist), 38:43
Shots on goal -- E. Wayne 16, D.H. Conley 1. Corner kicks -- E. Wayne 11, D.H. Conley 1. Fouls -- E. Wayne 6, D.H. Conley 11. Offsides -- none. Saves -- E. Wayne (Daniels 0), D.H. Conley (Haithcock 12).
Records: Eastern Wayne 13-7, D.H. Conley 6-12-1.
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