09/16/08 — CBA holds off Beddingfield 5-3

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CBA holds off Beddingfield 5-3

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 16, 2008 12:58 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock began defense of its men's regular-season conference soccer title in unusual fashion Monday evening.

The Golden Falcons had to play from behind.

Facing one-goal deficits twice in the opening half, state-ranked C.B. Aycock outlasted Wilson Beddingfield 5-3 on the Hardy Talton Stadium pitch. It was the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

The Bruins pressured the Golden Falcons from the opening whistle and capitalized on a defensive lapse in the seventh minute. Senior Eduardo Picasso received a throw-in and knocked the ball into the penalty area, but it caught everyone by surprise.

Picasso's "pass" sailed inside the far left post for a goal.

"Scary," said Aycock sophomore Tucker Pearson of the score. "We had Brandon (Davis) in goal and he's our best keeper. It was scary thinking we were going to lose."

Beddingfield protected its lead for the next 20 minutes. The Bruins disrupted Aycock's offense by intercepting passes, and successfully defended corner kicks and throw-ins.

The Golden Falcons, who soared to No. 2 in the latest N.C. Soccer Coaches Association 3-A state poll, finally forged a tie in the 27th minute. David Burke ripped a shot inside the 6-yard box that deflected off a Bruin defender.

Pearson cleaned up with a goal-scoring shot that squirted past Beddingfield keeper Troy Cashion.

"I was mad," said a grinning Pearson. "I wanted to kill it as hard as I could ... just kicked it hard."

Picasso answered less than a minute later. Teammate Ray Renfrow served a long ball forward from left midfield to the far right toward Picasso. The all-ECC performer and Davis charged the ball at the same time.

Picasso touched the ball just as Davis (four saves) attempted to smother it and knocked it into the open goal for a 2-1 lead.

"I think our guys kind of came in soft and didn't have their heads in the game," said Aycock assistant coach Scott Summers. "They thought this is Beddingfield and they can just whup on them. We tell them time and again they have to come out play hard every game.

"They can't always think this is an easy team."

Aycock (9-0-0, 1-0-0 ECC) forged another tie in the 35th minute. Gavin Forrest drilled a corner kick toward the near post and it deflected off Cashion's gloves into the net.

Four minutes later, the Golden Falcons took the lead.

Beddingfield (3-6-0, 0-1-0) drew a hand-ball infraction in the box after Cashion's punchout bounced off Alex Botello's arm. Aycock's Alex Rodriguez easily converted the penalty kick to make it 3-2 at halftime.

Rodriguez scored again 78 seconds into the second half, but Picasso completed his natural hat trick (three consecutive goals) less than three minutes later. Aycock surrendered just three goals in its previous eight outings this season.

"(Keeping the lead) is something we have to learn to do and it comes from maturity," said Bruins head coach Maitland Barnes. "I don't think we ever backed off. We kept coming back. The kids are doing a good job and working hard."

Aycock finished the scoring in the 49th minute.

Senior Ryan Martin sent a beautiful one-touch thru ball that curled around a Beddingfield defender and rolled toward Forrest outside the 18-yard box. Cashion (eight saves) came off his line to challenge Forrest, who fired a hard, goal-scoring strike into the open net.

The Golden Falcons outshot the Bruins 20-9 and owned a decisive 7-1 edge in corner kicks. The three-time defending ECC regular-season and tournament champion, Aycock picked up its 29th league victory in its last 31 tries.

"They settled down and got the lead back," said Summers. "We told them (at halftime) to just relax. All of them were worked up because this was the first conference game..

"They came out in the second half, let the ball move and played well."