04/02/09 — Chargers shut out Eagles

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Chargers shut out Eagles

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 2, 2009 1:46 PM

More often than not Wayne Country Day turns an opponent's mistakes into goals.

Wednesday night was no exception in the Chargers' 3-0, non-conference road win over county rival Rosewood at Branch Pope Field.

No. 1-ranked Wayne Country Day (6-0-0 overall) pressured the Eagles defense throughout the opening half. Rosewood keeper Taylor Johnson turned away a pair of point-blank shots in the fourth minute.

Catherine Ford's free kick from roughly 24 yards out in the 12th minute was off the mark.

Eighth-grader Sara Best collected a loose ball that the Eagles failed to clear inside the 18-yard box and fired it past Johnson in the 18th minute to give the Chargers a 1-0 lead.

Rosewood (5-3) didn't record a shot on goal in the first half. Gabby Cornman's free kicks in the 25th and 34th minutes, each from about 30 yards out, failed to result in scoring opportunities.

The Eagles earned a corner kick in the 40th minute but couldn't capitalize. The Chargers held an 8-0 shots-on-goal advantage in the opening 40 minutes.

"During warm-ups I could just tell we didn't have it tonight," said Rosewood head coach Eddie Maldonado. "They weren't going after the ball, they weren't aggressive and they weren't talking each other. I just don't think my team was ready to play tonight."

The Eagles began to build offensive momentum in the second half. Rosewood earned a corner in the 44th minute, but couldn't convert.

Best struck again the 63rd minute from inside the 18-yard box and stretched Wayne Country Day's lead to 2-0.

"We had a lot of pressure on us and Rosewood had us on our heels," said Chargers head coach Baron Heinemann. "For Sara, an eighth-grader to pull off the first two goals, all it can do is lift the spirits of all our players on the field. When that goal went in (their) backs were broken."

The Eagles continued to pressure and Cornman's free kick from outside the 18-yard box in the 71st minute sailed just wide. Francesca Verceles-Zara's shot in the 75th minute was stopped by Wayne Country Day keeper Ellen Elmore, who dove to her right to make the save.

"When it was 2-0 we had opportunities to score and we just couldn't take advantage of it," said Maldonado. "We just can't seem to connect. We're working on it. It's just not coming as quickly as we would like it to come."

Verceles-Zara's shot on goal in the 76th minute missed wide right. Each team finished with three shots on goal in the second half.

"We didn't give away a lot of shots," said Heinemann. "Shelle Anderson played fantastic in the back. This is her first year at sweeper. There were a lot of chances that Rosewood should have had if Shelle wasn't as solid as she was."

Ford concluded the Chargers' scoring with a blast off the post in stoppage time. Johnson notched six saves for the Eagles.

Rosewood entertains Midway today, while Wayne Country Day is the guest of Coastal Plains Independent 1-A foe Greenfield School on Friday.