11/08/07 — aycock-jacksonville

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By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 8, 2007 1:50 PM

PIKEVILLE -- It wasn't supposed to end like this.

Especially not at home.

Charles B. Aycock's run through the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A men's soccer playoffs came to a screeching halt with a 2-1 third-round loss against Jacksonville White Oak on Wednesday night at Hardy-Talton Stadium.

Offensively, the Vikings took it to the Golden Falcons from the very beginning. Jacksonville repeatedly beat Aycock to loose balls, took control of the midfield and kept pressure on the defense. It all paid off in the 10th minute when Tyler Vandervender took the ball at the top-left side of the 18-yard box and after a few dribbles, beat keeper Brandon Davis in the right corner.

An Aycock offense that had been explosive all year long, struggled and didn't take a shot on goal until the 19th minute. Moments after the Golden Falcons got a shot on frame, Tucker Pearson kicked home a loose ball in front of the net off a throw-in from David Burke.

"We fought back from one down," Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "The boys didn't cave. At that point I thought it was pretty even. I don't think there's much difference between these two teams at all."

Like they have so many times this season, the Golden Falcons seemed to be energized by putting a ball in the back of the net. Alex Roosen's blast off a long free kick clanged off the crossbar and a corner kick opportunity went begging. Despite coming up empty, the ability to pressure the goal that seemed lacking in Aycock's attack early on, was alive and thriving.

The Golden Falcons (19-3-1) began second-half play without one of their biggest weapons, Jorge Delgado, who was battling a leg cramp. Delgado ran and stretched at halftime, but was simply unable to go. He returned to the field on two separate occasions, but was never the same.

Just nine minutes into the second half, Mac Cargile put the game away when he took a long ball, slipped through Aycock's defense and rocketed a shot into the left corner.

Throughout the second half, scoring opportunities for the Golden Falcons seemed to come and go in limitless abundance. Alex Rodriguez's corner kick in the 47th minute bounced off the cross bar and out of bounds.

Jacksonville gained a one-man advantage in the second half when Burke drew a red card.Aycock continued to misfire on quality scoring chances from that point.

"We had more than our opportunities to score goals tonight," Adkins said. "Even down a man, I thought we dominated the last 25 to 30 minutes. It was difficult tonight, but Jacksonville is a good team."

White Oak owned a 9-8 advantage in shots on goal. Davis had five saves.

Three regular-season and tournament titles, a 19-win campaign and a third-round playoff trip -- the first in school history -- has again raised the standard at Aycock.

"We talk about (what we've accomplished), and talk about it and talk about it," said Adkins, who will not return next season. "Every year it gets better for us. It's been a phenomenal season, it's just been a magical ride. This is a great building block for these boys, they've come so far. The program will continue to grow, and it will continue to get better."