05/12/08 — WCDS -- NCISAA soccer

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WCDS -- NCISAA soccer

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 12, 2008 1:49 PM

At first glance, Wayne Country Day didn't resemble a championship-caliber team on the soccer pitch.

Six games later, however, first-year girls soccer coach Baron Heinemann had second thoughts. The Chargers were 4-1-1 with five shutouts and had permitted just three goals defensively.

"I thought they had a lot of talent," said Heinemann. "It was about our sixth game before I started to see that they were really a force to be reckoned with."


Blended with youth and experience, Wayne Country Day continued to post strong results. Heinemann's squad logged an 8-2-1 record from late March to early May and emerged the Class 1-A Coastal Plains Independent Conference champion.

The Chargers (12-3-2 overall) secured the league's automatic bid to the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association playoffs. They drew the No. 2 seed and entertain CPIC rival Ahoskie Ridgecroft at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

In other first-round games, defending state champion and top-seeded Trinity entertains Community Christian; fourth-seeded Gaston Day plays host to Kerr-Vance and third-seeded Faith Christian-Rocky Mount welcomes Statesville Christian.

The semifinals and finals are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson.

Wayne Country Day is making its eighth straight postseason appearance, while Ridgecroft (7-8-1) is in for the fourth consecutive year. The Rams won the state title in 2004.

Heinemann's team swept the regular-season series against Ridgecroft. But the Chargers lost striker Virginia Best to a season-ending ACL injury in their second meeting on April 15.

"The thing any team has to watch out for in this scenario is being complacent," Heinemann said of playing the Rams a third time. "I'm not sure if the injury will cause my team to hang back a little, or intensify them and make them want to get a little bit of payback.

"It's not Ridgecroft's fault that Virginia got hurt."

Ridgecroft will have to defend against an offense that doesn't have one major scorer. Ten different Chargers have posted one or more goals this season in an offense that's accumulated 17 total goals in its last five outings.

Eighth-grade forward Mack Thompson has a team-leading 12 goals, while the injured Best is next with nine. Ninth-grade midfielder Kim Martell has knocked in eight goals, while junior captain Brooke Norris has collected six.

Forward Catherine Ford (five goals) and Thompson have handed out eight and seven assists, respectively, this season.

"Our team is well balanced," said Heinemann. "What it comes down to with us is putting the ball in the net ... finding the right spot at the right time. Once we sink the goals, we're very hard to beat."

WCDS keeper Ellen Elmore logged a 1.12 goals-against-average and seven shutouts in regular-season play. The Chargers have permitted one goal or less in 12 contests this spring.

"Everybody seems to pull their weight and there aren't any stars on the team," said Heinemann. "They've held their positions respectively. That's the kind of team you want to win it (state title) with.

"I don't think we've played a consistent 80 minutes, yet, but there's no time like the present to string together a full 80."