Eastern Wayne's comeback thwarted
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 28, 2007 1:48 PM
What started out as a spirited second half comeback turned into a night of frustration and what ifs.
Eastern Wayne rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit, and closed to within a goal on two different occasions before eventually falling to visiting Jacksonville White Oak 6-3 on Monday night.
White Oak junior Max Cargile torched the Warriors for four goals, and his strike just seven minutes in put the Vikings on top 1-0. Tyler Vandervender found the back of the net in the 24th minute pushing the lead to 2-0. Early on, this contest had all the makings of the rout Eastern Wayne suffered at White Oak earlier this season.
Applying almost constant pressure on the Warriors defense, the Vikings increased their lead to 3-0 less than five minutes into the second half, when Cargile struck again from about 10 yards out.
Unwilling to fold the tent, Eastern Wayne answered back less than a minute later, when Robbie Keys punched home a deflection past White Oak keeper Josh Walter. Keys' goal seemed to ignite a Warriors offense that had been almost silent up until that point. In the 50th minute, Eric Suncin found Richard Riddle off a corner kick and in the blink of an eye White Oak's lead had slimmed to 3-2.
"I think fitness was a big factor," Easter Wayne coach Jorg Wagner said. "I think our guys were motivated to go for it. We had a good halftime discussion about where to move the ball and how to move the ball...and our touches were there."
However, for every Warriors' attack there always seemed to be a Vikings counter-attack of equal if not greater proportions. At times, White Oak forwards raced through the Eastern Wayne defense with ease, and it wasn't until a perfectly placed passed was laid at their that a Warriors defender began giving chase.
Cargile continued his scoring barrage in the 52nd minute, this time finding the back of the net from about five yards out, increasing the Vikings cushion to 4-2. Suncin answered once more for the Warriors in the 61st minute, beating Walter in the right side of the goal, and breathing new life once more into Eastern Wayne's comeback hopes with the score at 4-3.
Those hopes were short-lived, as White Oak's Joaquin Leel delivered a picture-perfect bending ball off an assist following a corner kick into the right top-corner of the goal in the 62nd minute. Cargile ended his scoring and the Warriors' shot at a rally in the 64 minute, as his fourth goal of the night upped the lead to 6-3.
"I thought that if we hadn't had the lapses in the back, then we would have probably been a little bit closer than the final score," Wagner said. "It's just that right after we scored, we would have a lapse defensively. The next thing you know, you're back down two and we have to play catch up again. With White Oak, you can only play catch up for so long."
White Oak held a 14-13 advantage in shots on goal, and the Vikings also had the edge in corner kicks at 4-2. Eastern Wayne's Dustin Pinter was taken to the hospital in the first half after bumping heads with teammate Mike Bero. Wagner said he felt Pinter would need some stitches to repair a cut in his head, and that the injury did not appear to be serious.
At 1-2 on the young season, Wagner feels his club has some holes to fill, including the one left by last season's News-Argus player of the year Dustin Smith. Asking his club to get better game-in and game-out, while leaning on a few veterans is all he has in mind for now.
"We're just going to try to improve," Wagner said. "We've lost quite a few players to graduation. Notably, Dustin Smith and Oscar Scincine (spelling?). Those two are very difficult to replace. We are a little more team oriented this year, so we're trying to get fitter and read the game better.
We've got Werner Wooten, Chris Knobling, those are kids that can play a little, and Robbie Keys will be called upon in the front, and Bryan Coltrane in the back. If those guys can step up, we should have a fair shot at being competitive in the conference."
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