By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 4, 2010 1:47 PM
The margin of error between Rosewood and Camden County, two fairly-even teams, was definitely slim Wednesday evening.
And one critical defensive miscue favored the Bears.
Ryan Wuerker notched the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute and Camden upended Rosewood 2-1 in opening-round action of the 2010 N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A boys' soccer playoffs.
Each team misfired on scoring chances early in the first half and battled to a scoreless draw at intermission.
"We could tell it was two pretty evenly-matched teams," said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. "Both teams played hard and we went back-and-forth, and I told the guys at halftime that it (the final result) would probably come down to a mistake."
Camden (13-7-2 overall) notched the game's first goal less than three minutes into the second half. Michael Dunn dribbled into the 18-yard box and flicked a pass to Alex Rasch, who fired a right-footed chip shot onto goal.
Eagles keeper Jacquez Raynor played too far off his line and the ball sailed over his out-stretched hands into the net.
Rosewood (8-7-1) regrouped and controlled possession for the next few minutes. The Eagles attempted a shot inside the Bears' 18-yard box and drew a corner kick around the 49-minute mark.
The kick came into the box and Camden keeper Matt McCartney knocked it out toward the left side of the field. The ball landed at the feet of Rosewood's Reed Howell, who punched it in for the game-tying goal.
It was Howell's first score of the season.
"I thought we responded well," said Mitchell. "I thought we picked it up and were able to pressure them. We didn't get down."
Each team created attacks for the next 20-plus minutes before Wuerker ran onto a loose ball just past the midfield stripe. Draped by a Rosewood defender, Wuerker managed to slip a right-footed shot between Raynor and the near post.
"The ball creeped in," said Mitchell.
Rosewood, the Carolina 1-A runner-up, attempted four corner kicks in the final five-plus minutes, but came up empty.
"We've worked hard the last few days on corner kicks and I thought we looked dangerous on every kick, and we were able to get that one in," said Mitchell. "We needed to get a little something more on the running play, but I thought Camden defended well, covered well and made a couple of sliding tackles when they needed to.
"We just weren't able to break through."
The contest marked the final game for seven seniors -- Raynor, Antonio Henriques, Paul Beldon, Spencer Howell, Zach Behrend, Aaron Keefer and Jonathan Franks.
"That's a group we hate to see go," said Mitchell.
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