Warriors down Nash Central
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 13, 2010 1:46 PM
Pound the goal and storm the net.
Eastern Wayne attacked with aggression early and often in a 5-1 win over Nash Central in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A women's soccer playoffs on Wednesday evening at Little Big Horn.
The Warrior's willingness to crash the 18-yard box and put shots on frame paid off throughout the contest. Miller Delbridge got Eastern Wayne on the board when her header off a corner kick beat Bulldogs' keeper Vanessa Batchelor in the fourth minute.
Delbridge's long shot in the 14th minute got past Batchelor and put the Warriors in front 2-0.
"We had solid chances," said Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner. "We worked on our deadballs over the past couple of weeks. We now have one or two or three or four players that are willing to stick a head in and get something on goal. Miller's first goal makes it a lot easier with an early score."
Brandi Dean collected a rebound inside the 18-yard box in the 29th minute and stuck it in the back of the net. Batchelor turned away point-blank shots from Dean in the 35th and 39th minutes.
The Warriors outshot Nash Central 9-0 in the first half and held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Lindsay Underwood extended the lead to 4-0 in the 47th minute as her free kick from outside the 18-yard box tucked into the top right corner of the net.
"We really focus on our throws and our corner kicks," said Wagner. "In the last practice we spent 30 or 45 minutes working with Lindsay to practice looking at the keeper possibly being mispositioned, and possibly putting in the upper corner.
"It paid off for her today."
Dean scored her second goal in the 51st minute after taking an assist from Jenna Martin, dribbling into the 18-yard box and beating Batchelor. Dean boosted her team- and county-leading goal total to 24.
The Bulldogs scored on a penalty kick in the 79th minute.
Eastern Wayne (13-4-0 overall) outshot Nash Central 16-2 and Warriors' keeper Danielle Daniel had to make just one save. By controlling the majority of the possession and outshooting the Bulldogs 16-2, the Warriors kept pressure off their defense.
"I thought we held up pretty well defensively," said Wagner. "Every time Brandi goes down the flank and even if only takes 20 seconds, in the back we can calmly reorganize. We have all the time in the world to hand out our defensive assignments. That's thanks to a long center midfield."
Eastern Wayne plays host to perennial power Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Friday.
"We get a chance now to play Jacksonville," said Wagner. "Around the East, that's a measure of many things. Playing here is always good for one or two goals, maybe.
"We're certainly the underdog. We'll see how it turns out."
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