Wayne Country Day reaches NCISAA 1-A soccer quarterfinals
By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on October 21, 2007 2:04 AM
The Wayne Country Day soccer team had other plans for today.
Weddings, other sporting events and college visits clogged up the players' agendas. Most cancelled their trips when Cape Fear Christian informed Wayne Country Day it couldn't play on Friday.
The change caused goalkeeper Ryan Ford to miss the opening-round, N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Class 1-A playoff contest. So, Ford's teammates played for him and took out their frustrations on the visiting Eagles.
The sixth-seeded Chargers got the lone goal they needed in the 13th minute from Cameron Ford and cruised to a 3-0 victory. Wayne Country Day (10-6-2 overall) travels to third-seeded Gaston Day on Tuesday.
"This was definitely a game we wanted to win for Ryan Ford," said Wayne Country Day coach Baron Heinemann. "It wasn't quite the outcome I was looking for. I actually wanted more goals.
"All in all, we got it done and that's all that counts."
Matt Wolf's long cross to Ford turned into a golden header for Wayne Country Day, the 2006 state runner-up. The ball deflected off a Cape Fear defender and into the back of the net.
With less than 10 minutes to play before halftime, E.J. York blistered a shot that Eagles keeper Jake Turlington stopped, but couldn't smother. Ford collected the rebound and chipped the ball just over the crossbar, leaving the score 1-0.
Six minutes into the second half, Thomas Elmore launched a long throw into the box. The ball skidded a few feet before settling at Wolf's feet. He ripped a shot past Turlington for a two-goal advantage.
Minutes later, Wolf struck again on a free kick for the final margin.
"The second goal was just beautiful," said Heinemann. "Those were the first goals he's had since he moved back to defense."
The Wayne Country Day defense, and particularly its midfield, completely shut down the Cape Fear attack. Wolf and York both helped the Chargers control possession and limit attacks.
"I told (Matt) at the beginning of the game, we needed him to step up and he certainly did that today," said Heinemann. "E.J. always plays all out. He's got more heart than a lot of guys. All in all, we did control the midfield completely and our defense made no mistakes."
With novice goalies David Wilson and James Crooks splitting time in place of Ford, the strong defensive play proved critical. Still, Wilson and Crooks stopped any chance that got by the Charger defense. The Eagles managed just three shots on goal.
Next is a trip to Gastonia. Gaston Day is ranked among the state's top five teams in the latest NCISAA poll released last Monday.
"It's a nice long road trip on Tuesday," said Heinemann. "We'll be back at full steam. I'm ready for it. I'm confident we can do well."
Notes: Wayne Country Day has won three of its last four playoff games. ... The Chargers are 4-1-1 in their last six regular-season games this season with the only loss occurring against Greenfield, the No. 2 seed in this year's state tournament.
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