Warriors fall in OT
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 20, 2007 2:52 PM
Conference losses always sting.
When it's a loss in overtime, that sting lingers a little longer.
Eastern Wayne's 4-3 setback against Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference foe Wilson Hunt on Wednesday evening is one that could linger for some time.
Wilson Hunt's Jeffrey Reardon charged toward the goal with the ball at his feet four minutes into the first overtime. Eastern Wayne goalie Vincent Hagedorn raced toward Reardon and slid toward the ball, but Reardon slipped past Hagedorn and punched home the eventual game-winner.
Eastern Wayne had scoring chances of its own in the extra sessions, primarily in the second overtime. Geordi Brown had what looked like a certain goal simply roll right past the goal and out of bounds.
Moments later Eric Suncin's shot from just right of the goal was turned away. The Warriors had a corner kick that didn't materialize with under a minute to play. Perhaps the best chance of all was Chris Knobling's attempt that clanged off the crossbar.
"It's a dissapointing result for sure," Eastern Wayne coach Jorg Wagner said. "I thought we could take some positives out of the game in coming back. We hit the crossbar three times and missed a couple of good opportunities.
"In the end, after 100 minutes, the legs are probably pretty shot, and finishing goes first."
Hunt's pressure-oriented, long-ball attack seemed to overwhelm Eastern Wayne's patience and passing style of play early on. Even before Hunt (6-4-1, 1-0 ECC) found the back of the net, it was creating offensive opportunities by stepping in front of balls and shutting down passing lanes.
Eli Inscoe appeared to get Hunt on the board in the 18th minute, only to have his goal waived off.
Robbie Keys broke Eastern Wayne's offensive struggles momentarily, when he raced through the right side of Hunt's defense and beat keeper Will Jacobs for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.
Just over a minute later, Hunt's Aaron White ran right through the teeth of the Warriors' defense and slipped the ball past Hagedorn to even the score at 1-1.
Reardon put Hunt on top 2-1 in the 23rd minute, as Hagedorn was caught outside the goal. He raced back, but couldn't keep Reardon's shot from finding the back of the net.
Back in front, Hunt focused on shutting down the Eastern Wayne attack, while continuing to create its own scoring opportunities. Eastern Wayne struggled to find room to create anything offensively, while Reardon continued to create havoc. His shot attempt in the 36th minute came within inches of putting Hunt in front 3-1.
Just before halftime, Werner Wooten was able to find a crease in Hunt's defense and delivered a blast from the middle of the penalty box that beat Hunt's Jonas Dewald and forged a 2-2 tie.
Given the way his club struggled to adjust to Hunt's up-tempo and long-ball attack, Wagner told his players it was a "miracle," the game was tied at the half.
"I'm thinking that in the first half we were probably a little bit rattled by the constant pressure," Wagner said. "Our passing game didn't quite work the way I would have liked it to. I think the guys were maybe a little bit too tentative and too slow to take responsibility."
Reardon wasted little time pushing Hunt back in front in the 46th minute. In one fluid motion, the senior received the ball just left of the goal roughly 15-20 yards out, and proceeded to spin and fire a dart that beat Hagedorn. Just like that, Hunt had a 3-2 advantage.
Marcos Contreras evened things at 3-3 in the 63rd minute when he converted a penalty kick for Eastern Wayne. The Warriors outshot Hhunt 11-10 and Hagedorn finished with two saves.
In the end, a slow start and costly defensive breakdowns is what separated Eastern Wayne from an emotional overtime win -- and left it with a dissapointing loss.
"If you score three goals at home you need to win the game," Wagner said. "Defensively is where I think I saw the biggest problem. Defensively we're going to have to revamp a few things."
Eastern Wayne (3-5 overall, 1-1 ECC) entertains league opponent Wilson Beddingfield on Monday. Game time is 7 p.m.
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