03/19/10 — State-ranked Chargers roll past Waccamaw

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State-ranked Chargers roll past Waccamaw

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 19, 2010 1:47 PM

This one ended quickly.

State-ranked Wayne Country Day erupted for three goals in the first nine minutes and cruised past Waccamaw Academy, 7-2, on a sun-splashed Thursday afternoon.

Five players notched at least one goal apiece for the Chargers, who competed without senior Georgia Tanner (knee) in the defensive backfield and had two more teammates go down with first-half injuries -- Edie Hooks (knee) and Julia O'Donnell (ankle). The trio is expected to return for Saturday's match against Rocky Mount Academy in The Brittany VI in Wilson.

"Our midfield is very young ... this whole team is young, and has never really played together as a unit," said first-year WCDS head coach William Hogan. "Today, I saw unification and a good cohesion. The chemistry between the players is dynamic. I think they did a great job."

Eighth-grader Karis Hawkins put the Chargers, ranked No. 13 in the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association independent schools poll, on the board in the opening 90 seconds. Freshman Sarah Best dribbled inside the 18-yard box and crossed the ball to Mollie McDonald, who fired a shot off the crossbar.

Hawkins collected the rebound and tucked into the lower right corner for the 1-0 lead. A mere 70 seconds later, Mack Thompson added the second goal and WCDS' offense went into cruise control for the next few minutes.

Thompson scored again in the ninth minute and sophomore Catherine Ford supplied a goal one minute later to make it 4-0. Hannah Pearson and Best each recorded an opening-half goal as the Chargers led 6-1 at the break.

Hogan and assistant coach Will Futrell talked with the team at halftime about working on its passing game in the second 40 minutes. They stressed switching the ball, extending the defense and using the width of the field to create scoring opportunities.

The Chargers (3-1-0 overall) weren't allowed to take a shot unless it came off a header. Junior Sterling Coggins, one of several starters back from last year's state-semifinalist team, scored in the second half.

Hogan said the offensive scheme should help the team prepare for the wider field at the Gillette Soccer Complex this weekend.

"We haven't met somebody that's really going to challenge us and I'm looking forward to that challenge," said Hogan. "I think we will step up to that. Our defense is relatively solid.

"Saturday is going to be the real test of our mettle."