Warriors erupt in second half vs. Saints
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 28, 2010 3:54 PM
DUDLEY -- What a reward.
Eastern Wayne erupted for three goals within an 18-minute span and doubled up county rival Southern Wayne 4-2 on the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex pitch Wednesday evening.
The Warriors (8-9-0 overall) secured the No. 3 seed from the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, which begin Nov. 3.
The victory sets up an opening-round date at Jacksonville, which is 20-0-2 overall and ranked No. 2 in the latest N.C. Soccer Coaches Association poll. The Cardinals have played for three state championships since 2005.
"I'm glad we won a county duel, if you will, but the reward is going to Jacksonville. It doesn't get any easier," said Warriors head coach Jorg Wagner.
Southern Wayne (7-11-0) dropped to the No. 4 seed and will play its first-ever postseason game at Waccamaw champion South Brunswick. Game times have not been determined.
"I'm glad we've done what we are doing," said sixth-year Saints head coach Mario Aguilar. "But we still have a lot of work to do to keep going."
Fenny Martinez put the Saints on the board in the sixth minute.
Eastern Wayne seemed lethargic during the opening half and took time to warm up to long balls the Saints sent forward to their strikers. The Warriors possessed the ball well, but didn't generate much offense on goal.
Until the 24th minute.
Kyle Sasser ripped a 35-yard blast that curved around the Saints' three-man wall and settled into the upper right 90 of the net. It was Sasser's ninth goal of the season.
Southern Wayne grabbed a 2-1 lead on Jesus Rodriguez's goal in the 31st minute. His shot deflected off the near post and bounced past keeper Jorgan Furgerson into the net. It was Rodriguez's team- and county-leading 23rd goal of the season.
Furgeson recorded four saves.
The Warriors, who are 5-2 in their last seven outings, regrouped at halftime and played a more energetic second half. They controlled the tempo, intercepted passes in open spaces and gave Saints keeper Luis Castaneda a workout between the pipes. Castaneda logged 10 saves.
"We attacked with much more purpose and Ryan Allison started chasing balls left and right," said Wagner. "He provided a bit of a spark. In the second half, there was not a whole lot of danger, except for the occasional break through (by the Saints)."
Ryan Jackson collected the game-tying goal in the 53rd minute off Nick Bowden's assist. Jackson scored again in the 69th minute off Sasser's assist. Rafael Guerra capped the Warriors' second-half surge with a goal off Allison's assist around the 72nd minute.