Wayne Christian-Wayne Country Day tie
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 2, 2007 3:33 PM
David Wilson stepped off the field, took a swig of water and wiped his sweaty brow with his dirt- and sweat-stained jersey. Wilson looked back at the scoreboard and his facial expression told the story.
Missed scoring opportunities not only haunted Wilson and his Wayne Country Day teammates, but they also tormented Wayne Christian. The two archrivals battled to a 0-0 draw in a pivotal late-season contest with state-playoff implications.
The Eagles (10-4-1) entered the match with their first-ever state ranking -- a No. 5 spot in the latest Class 1-A N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association poll. A victory could have validated that ranking and kept them in line for a top-eight seed in the 12-team field.
"It seems good to be able to play with them," said Wayne Christian coach Daryl Anderson. "I was hoping we could beat them, which would give us a good boost. Maybe this will get us ready for the playoffs.
State runners-up a year ago, the Chargers (7-5-2) needed a win to avoid opening the postseason on the road against a difficult opponent. Their fate rests with the selection committee.
"Although I'm not confident we're 100 percent where we need to be this late in the season, we're a heck of a lot further than I thought," said WCDS head coach Baron Heinemann. "They proved that today."
Wayne Country Day played a technical game and organized its attack well throughout the 80-minute affair. Wayne Christian countered by stacking the 18-yard area with seven defenders and Jeremy Jefferson drew the one-on-one assignment against senior Matt Wolf.
The Chargers managed to spread out the defense, especially on throw-ins, but couldn't drop the ball into the net. WCDS owned a decisive 17-7 edge in shots.
"I think we worked the ball around pretty well today," said Wilson, who headed a shot off the post in the opening half. "It was definitely frustrating not scoring, but we had our opportunities. We just couldn't put it away."
Wayne Christian keeper Eric Williams collected just four saves, but made crucial stops in each half. In the 34th minute, the Chargers' Jeff Franklin sent a low kick toward the back post and the shot deflected off Williams' gloves.
No. 11 pushed the rebound just wide of the left post.
In the 54th minute, Franklin uncorked a long throw-in near the WCDS bench. Wilson attempted a low header toward the back post, but Williams dove and used his 6-foot-8 to shield the goal, and made a glove save.
"That was a phenomenal save at his feet," said Heinemann.
Wayne Christian, which missed a first-half penalty kick, attempted its lone significant shot about 13 minutes later. Gregory Alexander ran onto a loose ball from the midfield and somehow fired a shot on goal between two Charger defenders.
WCDS keeper Ryan Ford dove to his left and snuffed out the shot.
"Their midfielders controlled the game more than ours did, especially in the second half," said Anderson. "Our penalty kick should have went in and we had a breakaway that should have went in. But they had a lot of good chances that should have went in."
"It was kind of frustrating to go out there and play so hard, but not come out with a win," he said. "It was a great game by both teams."
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