09/23/09 — W. Christian-Trinity Raleigh

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W. Christian-Trinity Raleigh

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 23, 2009 1:48 PM

Exorcise the negative spirits.

Avoid the flat start.

And feed the ball to Greg Alexander.

Wayne Christian accomplished those three goals and turned back perennial power Trinity Academy of Raleigh 2-0 on a rain-soaked pitch Tuesday afternoon. The Eagles (11-5-0 overall) earned their first-ever victory over the Tigers during Darkly Anderson's four-year tenure as head coach.

Anderson worried his team would start slow after stunning No. 1-ranked Faith Christian-Rocky Mount just 24 hours earlier. The absence of six starters for a variety of reasons further boosted his concerns.

"I'm pleased," said Anderson. "We didn't come out as flat as I thought they would after the game yesterday. Knowing we had some people not able to play, normally that causes a negative spirit on this team and they overcame that (today) against a quality opponent.

"To me, that's a big hurdle for us to leap over."

The Carolina Christian 1-A Conference rivals battled to a scoreless draw at halftime. The Eagles misfired on three corner kicks and couldn't find the net on 10 shot attempts.

Trinity (5-4, 2-2 CCC) recorded just one shot on goal.

Anderson reminded his team at halftime to use the width of the field, spread the Tigers' defense and get the ball to Alexander, the team's leading scorer and returning all-state performer.

Wayne Christian (7-2 CCC) erased the 0-0 deadlock in the 50th minute. Alexander received a through ball from Davis Taylor, and squeezed a goal-scoring shot between Trinity keeper Frank Simme and the near post. Simme finished with 11 saves on 22 Eagle shots.

Alexander collected his 18th goal of the season in the 58th minute.

"We have two strikers and two midfielders on the bench, that kind of messes up our offense," said Anderson. "Greg is the focal point of the offense right now because everybody else is out. My (starting) goalie (Chase King) is out, too."

Backup keeper Greg Johnson logged two saves on four Trinity shots and earned his first-ever shutout in goal. It was the Eagles' third shutout of the season.

The Eagles entertain Wilson Christian on Friday.