Saints trip up Hawks, 3-1
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 9, 2010 1:47 PM
DUDLEY -- Use more triangles.
The simple passing scheme proved unfruitful for Southern Wayne during first-half play against Triton on Wednesday evening. The Hawks constantly intercepted passes in the open spaces and disrupted the Saints' offensive flow.
The second half?
A different story.
Southern Wayne used the width of the field, created more passing lanes and eventually claimed a 3-1 victory on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex pitch. It was the Saints' opener in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play.
The Hawks (2-3-1 overall, 0-2-0 ECC) clogged the middle with as many as five defenders in the first half. The Saints couldn't generate a consistent attack on goal and had several long balls go untouched down the sideline.
Once Triton redirected the ball upfield, its midfield organized an attack and pushed the ball forward to either Edgar Ortiz outside or Jorge Castillo inside. The duo combined for four shots and helped trigger two corner kicks in the opening 11 minutes, but the Hawks had nothing to show for their efforts.
"I thought we controlled the pace in the first half and dictated the game," said Triton head coach Joey Miriello.
The Saints (1-2-0, 1-0-0) erased the scoreless tie in the 23rd minute when Fenny Martinez's shot deflected off the back of a Triton defender and into the goal. The Hawks answered 90 seconds later with Castillo's game-tying goal that led to a 1-1 deadlock at intermission.
Southern Wayne head coach Mario Aguilar delivered an animated halftime talk. He reminded the team to "use more triangles" and moved Martinez farther up into the midfield to help with ball distribution.
"I moved Martinez to the midfield to support the strikers and they played good together ... quick passing," said Aguilar. "We were spread out because in the first half we had everybody together in the middle. I told them not to play in the middle because they collapsed (defensively)."
The Saints spread the field, stretched the Hawks' defense and started finding open seams toward the goal. Jesus Rodriguez supplied the game-clinching goal off Jose Rodriguez's assist in the 61st minute. Jose Rodriguez collected an unassisted goal in the final 30 seconds of regulation.
"They made some adjustments," said Miriello. "We didn't get back defensively through the midfield and made too many mistakes in the back. It was a game, in my mind, that I thought we should have won.
"We had as many opportunities as they did. The bottom line is they put it in the net and we didn't."
Saints keeper Alan Nunez recorded eight saves on 25 Triton shots. Triton keepers W.A. Myatt and Brendan Turlington combined for three saves on 21 Southern Wayne shots.