10/16/07 — C.B. Aycock clinches ECC title

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C.B. Aycock clinches ECC title

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 16, 2007 1:49 PM

One of the many characteristics of championship caliber teams is their ability to make opponents pay for mistakes.

Eastern Wayne learned that lesson the hard way in a 3-0 loss Monday evening against archrival Charles B. Aycock. The Golden Falcons clinched the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference title outright and spoiled the Warriors' senior night at Little Big Horn.

"We made three or four poor decisions and we paid for it," Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner said. "It's discouraging in one way, but I think it should give us a little bit of encouragement. It was not really that we were victimized by some great chances that were created, I think we shot ourselves in the foot three times."

The Warriors (7-9 overall, 5-4 ECC) dominated possession for nearly the first six minutes. Crisp passing and plenty of communication helped limit Aycock's touches on the ball.

After a corner kick in the fifth minute went by the wayside for Eastern Wayne, the Golden Falcon offense found their opening. Drew Musselman received the ball near midfield, raced through the heart of the Warriors' defense and drew a hard foul -- which didn't get a whistle.

Alex Rodriguez alertly gathered the loose ball and after a few quick dribbles tucked the game's opening goal into the right corner of the Eastern Wayne net past keeper Vincent Hagedorn.

"Nothing is ever easy when you come to Eastern Wayne," Golden Falcons assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "It was a big test for us tonight. The boys played a great game tonight."

After allowing an early score, in his final regular season game at Little Big Horn, Hagedorn put on a performance Warriors' fans are sure to remember for quite some time.

Aycock's Jorge Delgado had what appeared to be the Golden Falcons' second goal of the night, but Hagedorn turned him away on the doorstep.

Gavin Forrest had an opportunity to push the lead to 2-0 on a penalty kick in the 27th minute, but Hagedorn (12 saves) guessed right and made the stop. He also smothered the deflection and added a couple of outstanding stops late in the opening half.

"Vince was good," Wagner said. "He had some great saves, he made a fantastic save on the penalty kick. These guys know each other, so he might have taken a guess at where the ball was going. He's come along."

The Warriors' Robbie Keys had a ball played to his feet inside the 18-yard box in the 37th minute, but his shot was denied by Aycock keeper Kyle LaFlamme. The Golden Falcons led 1-0 at the break.

Just 10 minutes into the second half, mistakes started catching up with the Warriors.

Hagedorn attempted to clear a ball up the sideline, but Delgado stepped in front and left Hagedorn scrambling. Delgado lobbed a chip shot over Hagedorn's head, and all the Warriors' keeper could do was watch it roll into the goal.

One last mistake in the 61st minute put the game on ice. Delgado stole the ball from an Eastern Wayne defender near the right sideline, took two or three dribbles an unleashed a blast that tucked in under the crossbar.

"We knew the goals would come," Adkins said. "We just had to keep on doing what we were doing. We have (a lot of talented players) and they couldn't hold us out forever."

Eastern Wayne threatened with a couple of scoring opportunities late, none of which materialized. Aycock outshot the Warriors 14-5, and LaFlamme was forced to make just four saves.

"I felt we played well enough to maybe deserve a little better," Wagner said. "As of late, our problem seems we're playing a little for possession's sake. While it is a good-looking game and does create some chances, it doesn't create enough quality chances."

The Warriors conclude their regular season on Wednesday at Kinston. C.B. Aycock (14-2-1 overall, 9-0 ECC) visits Southern Wayne on Wednesday.