08/22/07 — Wayne Christian opens soccer season with shutout

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Wayne Christian opens soccer season with shutout

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on August 22, 2007 1:47 PM

Just minutes before kickoff against Northwood Temple, a nervous Daryl Anderson paced the sidelines.

Four Wayne Christian starters, for various reasons, were sidelined for Tuesday's season opener. Would the short-handed Eagles survive the depth issue in 100-degree heat?

Anderson didn't need to worry. His concern transformed into relief and joy as Wayne Christian polished off Northwood Temple 4-0 in the Class 1-A Carolina Christian Conference opener for both teams.

Injuries forced Taylor Gardner, Jeremy Jefferson and Anthony Mulligan to miss the contest. Brian Alexander sat out due to excessive yellow cards.

The Eagles (1-0 overall, 1-0 CCC) started out slow, missing crosses and misplaying touches on balls pushed up the field. Bradley Yelverton's perfect lead pass to Andrew Radford finally got Wayne Christian rolling.

Radford's one-touch strike past Northwood keeper Chris Choi gave the Eagles a 1-0 advantage just 11 minutes into the opening half.

"It was a beautiful goal and assist," said Anderson. "Bradley plays smart. He's a good player and knows what he's doing. To begin with our offense wasn't flowing the way it should be.

"We were rushing our shots and our crosses. Once we settled down and got our ball movement working, that's when we started scoring."

Northwood threatened to tie the game when a corner kick landed in the middle of the 6-yard box. But the Eagles' Jordan Crouthamel made a solid tackle and pushed the ball out to Shea Glaesman, who cleared it upfield.

The visitors struggled with possession all afternoon and failed to create any consistent scoring opportunities.

Wayne Christian doubled its lead when Glaesman capitalized on a defensive error. Northwood sloppily moved the ball and Glaesman fired a bullet into the upper-right corner of the net.

"Shea has come a long ways," Anderson said. "He's not one of my starters, but he looked pretty good today."

The second half mirrored the first 40 minutes.

Wayne Christian's defense accounted for its third goal as Matt Davis took the ball from Eddie Kim and took off on a short breakaway. Davis took the keeper one-on-one and knocked the shot past Choi.

"We've been practicing being more aggressive," said Anderson. "I was more satisfied with their aggressive play today."

Gregory Alexander assisted on Chase Darden's goal in the 66th minute for the Eagles final tally of the afternoon.

Northwood didn't test Wayne Christian keepers Eric Williams and Chase King often. Williams recorded six saves and combined with King for the shutout.

"It was a pretty good first win," said Anderson. "(A shutout) was what I was after today."

Anderson is hoping this first win be the start of a strong season for his Eagles. Eight seniors return on a roster of 22 players, which gives the head coach some high expectations.

"We want to be in the final four of the state," he said. "I'm looking for us to be really strong by the end of the year. Right now we have a lot to work on, but by the end of the year, I'm expecting this team to be a contender."