10/01/09 — Warriors fend off Saints, 1-0

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Warriors fend off Saints, 1-0

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 1, 2009 1:59 PM

There's no longer any guaranteed wins in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference men's soccer play.

Eastern Wayne fended off scrappy Southern Wayne and claimed a 1-0 victory Wednesday evening at Little Big Horn. The Warriors (4-6-1, 1-2-0 ECC) snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Saints (5-7-0, 2-2-0) played strong in the final 15 minutes and Jesus Rodriguez's shot clanged off the post in the 66th minute. The visitors had four more shots on goal and a pair of corner kicks in the last 12 minutes, but couldn't find the back of the net.

Ranferi Hernandez's free kick from 30 yards out in the 79th minute was the Saints last gasp. The Warrior defense turned away the shot.

"I thought we played well the last 15 or 20 minutes we just couldn't put the ball in the net," said Southern Wayne head coach Mario Aguilar. "I feel good because even though I know we lost, I know we played well."

Eastern Wayne had ample scoring opportunities of its own throughout the second half, but was unable to finish. The Warriors recorded eight shots on goal in the final 40 minutes, including six in the first 16 minutes of the second half.

"We've got to finish some of those chances," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner. "We need to get our forwards some confidence. We're missing a couple of forwards right now, but we've got to be able to score."

Nick Baker got the Warriors on the board by scoring on a free kick from the top of the 18-yard box in the 25th minute.

The Saints nearly answered in the 36th minute. Eastern Wayne goalkeeper Joseph DiCesare made a diving stop on Hernandez's hard-tailing shot. DiCesare finished with five saves.

Southern Wayne proved it shouldn't be taken lightly this season.

"Southern Wayne is a dangerous team," said Wagner. "Their coach has done a great job and they play hard. There's no more guaranteed wins in this conference."

Eastern Wayne travels to Triton today, while Southern Wayne entertains four-time defending ECC champion Charles B. Aycock on Monday.