03/27/09 — Early goal hurts Wayne Christian

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Early goal hurts Wayne Christian

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on March 27, 2009 1:47 PM

Wayne Christian started slow, surrendered an early goal and never recovered in a 1-0 loss to Carolina Christian 1-A Conference soccer foe Northwood Temple on Thursday afternoon.

Less than 60 seconds into the game, Northwood forward Kosandra Hernandez collected a loose ball and dribbled into the midfield. She ripped off the game's first shot and the ball sailed inside the left post.

"Our defense was just sleep walking a little bit early," said Wayne Christian head coach Daryl Anderson. "It's too bad that one mistake ended up costing us a game."

Northwood continued its onslaught in the game's opening stages, but Wayne Christian goal keeper Nikki Fitzmorris answered the call. Fitzmorris tallied five saves in the opening half.

Wayne Christian (3-4 overall, 3-2 CCC) opened the second half with renewed vigor and began to put the pressure on the Northwood defense. With Fitzmorris manning the midfield and Brittany Kornegay in goal, the Eagles neutralized the visitors' vertical passing attack.

A steady rain began to drench the field in the 60th minute. The shower sparked even more intensity along the Eagles' sideline.

"Sometimes players respond when the rain starts because they think they have to score before the game gets called," said Anderson. "We had our opportunities late. We just couldn't get a ball into the net."

Devan Isenhower was awarded a penalty kick for a foul inside the box in the 67th minute, but fired just wide of the right goal post. Wayne Christian was awarded a second free kick in the game's closing moments.

Fitzmorris lined up the shot and fired on goal, but the potential equalizer was saved by Northwood goalie Kaitlyn Row. The rebound deflected over the net.

"We have two starters out and two more trying to play through sprained ankles," said Anderson. "This loss hurts, but hopefully with a week off next week we can get some people back and we can continue to improve."

The Eagles return to action Saturday morning against Halifax Academy in The Brittany V at the Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson. Kickoff is 8:30 a.m.