09/18/07 — Eastern Wayne blanks Southern Wayne

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Eastern Wayne blanks Southern Wayne

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on September 18, 2007 3:21 PM

DUDLEY -- Slowly, Southern Wayne is evolving into a competitive team in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference.

Monday night, the Saints opened league play against county archrival Eastern Wayne and had that evolution stunted for one night. The Warriors played a near flawless game as they dominated the Saints 7-0.

"Southern Wayne is a much improved team from last year," said Eastern Wayne coach Jörg Wagner. "They'll surprise quite a few people who come in and think this won't be difficult."

Eastern Wayne senior Robbie Keys led the attack with a hat trick (three goals) while four other players contributed one goal apiece.

"Keys is good for a quite a few goals obviously," said Wagner. "He works very, very hard for those goals. He does a lot of off-the-ball running and he's been playing very well lately."

The Warriors opened the scoring four minutes and 30 seconds in when Jace Muehlenthaler launched a throw-in towards the goal. Werner Wooten played the ball off his knee and past goalie Mario Aguilar for the 1-0 lead.

Eastern Wayne waited until just before halftime to strike again. Keys scored twice in the final 10 minutes of the half to put the Warriors ahead 3-0.

"In the first half, it was quite difficult to break Southern Wayne down," said Wagner. "They stood quite well defensively. The first three goals were definitely fortunate on our part."

The Warriors (3-4-0, 1-0 ECC) used their endurance to break the game open in the second half. Eastern Wayne used its midfield and backs to make runs down the sidelines to set up crosses to forwards.

Keys found Chris Knobling on a cross for a one-touch shot to open the second-half scoring for Eastern Wayne.

Minutes later, Keys finished his night in style. The senior received a long pass from Colin Malcolm and made a diving header into the goal for a 5-0 Warriors' lead.

"That was great," said Wagner. "It was a result of players coming forward. Those are the type of goals where if you are a player, you'll cherish them."

On the other side of the field, Southern Wayne failed to muster any sort of offensive attack against the stout Eastern Wayne defense. Backs Mike Bero, Bryan Coltrane and Malcolm all made big plays in front of goalie Vincent Hagedorn.

The Warriors out shot the Saints 19-3 as Southern Wayne's attack played balls long to no one in particular.

"Our boys need to control the ball a lot better," said Southern Wayne assistant coach Scott Underhill. "We just kicked the ball up the field and weren't aggressive."

In the final minutes, Eastern Wayne emptied its bench, but the success of its play did not change. Richard Riddle and Sang Kim closed the scoring on assists from Frank Russo and Riddle.

"In the second half, what paid off for us was a lot of conditioning that was done," said Wagner. "We were able to maintain a relatively high pace on the ball and that's when you get goals coming down the sides on crosses."

The Saints dropped to 3-2 overall, 0-1 in the ECC.

"We're improving," said Underhill. "We had won three straight games in one week. Tonight ... Eastern Wayne is just so skilled and they played well."