C.B. Aycock eventually boots Gators
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 6, 2007 1:48 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Battling relentless heat and constantly under attack, a "bend but don't break" defense finally broke.
Playing its first match of the season with only a week of practice under its belt, Spring Creek challenged Charles B. Aycock on Wednesday afternoon. But a lack of conditioning and experience finally caught up with the Gators in a 2-0, non-conference loss.
Spring Creek fought off five Aycock corner kicks while being outshot 4-0 in the opening 40 minutes. However, the inability to capitalize on scoring opportunities by the Golden Falcons and some solid play in the net by the Gators keeper Angel Sanchez kept the game scoreless at the half.
Aycock (3-2-1 overall) continued to squander offensive opportunities in the second half until a defensive breakdown changed all of that in the 62nd minute.
Andrew Musselman slipped past his defender and raced down the left sidelines with the ball at his feet. Musselman fed a crossing pass to Tyler Ruffin, who beat Sanchez in the low left corner for a 1-0 Golden Falcons lead.
"Considering how hard the (field) is and how you can tell it's uneven and it hasn't had any water on it, when that first goal went in it was just like, 'wow finally,'" C.B. Aycock coach Kevin Adkins said. "When you play on a smaller field, this is a smaller field than what we usually play on, it is hard to re-adjust.
"When you play you've got to adjust, and we just didn't adjust to the field very well. Plus, we played (Tuesday) night, too."
With its collective energy level getting visibly lower while scrambling to tie the ball game, Spring Creek paid the price once more for a defensive mishap it had gotten away with on numerous occasions earlier in the game. In the 72nd minute, Alex Rodriguez won the ball in the teeth of the Gators' midfield and raced toward the goal, beating Sanchez in the right corner for a 2-0 lead.
Outside of Aycock's two goals, Sanchez seemed to always be in the right spot at the right time. He finished with 12 saves and literally kept his team in the game by turning aside numerous point blank shots.
"Angel kept us in the game about every 10 minutes," Gators head coach Jesse Craig said. "He was on the spot. He played a heck of a game."
Defensively, Aycock held Spring Creek in check all afternoon allowing just three shots on goal. The Gators failed to get a shot off in the first half and managed just two corner kicks compared to 10 for Aycock.
"Believe it or not, that's where we are experimenting in the back with our defense," Adkins said. "We moved a couple of kids around, Alex Dugom played back there and played really well. We moved Patrick Shultze back there, and this is the first game he has played back there and he really took control."
With a first-year head coach, a roster busting at the seams with underclassmen and two or three of its best players currently academically ineligible, Spring Creek could have gained some confidence in its performance on Wednesday while looking toward the future.
"The biggest thing that I believed caused the loss was we just ran out of gas in the last 10 or 15 minutes," Craig said. "Being that Aycock is 3-A and we're 1-A, I thought we did real well. I expect us to do real well this season.
"We're going to work on opening up the field and closing in a space between our midfield and defense. We're trying to find where each person fits on the field. I think we can make a run at state if we do well enough."
Aycock entertains Greene Central next Tuesday. Spring Creek plays host to Hobbton on Monday.
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