05/13/09 — Chargers control 2nd half

View Archive

Chargers control 2nd half

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 13, 2009 1:47 PM

Wayne Country Day observed -- and practiced -- the Golden Rule to perfection during second-half action against Statesville Christian on a pleasant, sun-splashed Tuesday afternoon.

The eighth-seeded Lions passed the ball well, controlled the tempo and dominated possession during first-half play in the quarterfinal-round, N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A postseason contest.

The top-seeded Chargers "did unto Statesville what it did unto them" in the second half. Working from the midfield and spacing the ball well, Brooke Norris and Mack Thompson converted crisp passes into goals as once-beaten Wayne Country Day took command within a five-minute stretch.

Keeper Ellen Elmore protected the two-goal advantage as the Chargers prevailed 3-1 and advanced to Friday's semifinal round at the Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson. Wayne Country Day (16-1-0) opposes defending state champion Community Christian at 3 p.m.

Greenfield faces Kerr-Vance in the other semifinal.

"We let them control the midfield and we were watching, especially myself ... wasn't necessarily in the game like I should have been," said WCDS senior sweeper Shelle Anderson. "In the second half, we knew what we wanted and what our goals were. We just stepped it up and played a better game."

Anderson logged four critical defensive clears inside the box in the final 40 minutes as the Chargers claimed their fifth consecutive postseason victory at home since 2003. Wayne Country Day secured its fifth final four appearance since 2003.

Freshman Catherine Ford put the Chargers in front 1-0 just four minutes into the game. The Lions (9-4-1) countered in the 20th minute by connecting three consecutive passes that spread the WCDS defense. Seventh-grader Deborah DeGraff fired a shot outside the 18 that curled past Elmore and dropped into the lower left corner.

It was just the seventh goal allowed by the Chargers this season.

"Statesville passed the ball beautifully, their touch was great, they found the passing lanes and moved around for each other," said WCDS head coach Baron Heinemann. "We weren't used to that ... haven't played against teams who pass the ball that well."

Heinemann diagrammed a defensive scheme at the break and WCDS executed it well in the second half. The Chargers allowed the Lions to connect on the first pass, but constantly intercepted the second pass and prevented any consistent flow on offense.

Then WCDS worked some passing magic of its own.

Thompson ran onto a ball just outside the 18 box and passed to Norris, who gained possession between two Statesville defenders. Norris, a senior, managed to squeeze off a shot that bounced past the outstretched gloves of Lions keeper Emily Peebles.

Less than five minutes later, eighth-grader Sara Best beat a defender one-on-one and passed off to Thompson. Thompson finished the play with a beautifully-placed shot that Peebles had no chance to stop.

"It was constant movement that produced those goals and we didn't give them time to set (defensively)," said Heinemann. "We got in there, didn't slow down and (there were) beautiful assists on both of them. We have speed and we used it."

One of five seniors playing their final home game, Elmore registered eight saves on 16 Statesville shots. Anderson and fellow senior Danielle Holland, who played injured most of the second half, kept the Lions from finding open looks on goal.