Adkins: Aycock's ECC title run was pleasant surprise
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 1, 2011 1:51 AM
Charles B. Aycock head coach Kevin Adkins considers winning the first Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championship in the history of the girls' soccer program is a bit of a surprise.
The Golden Falcons can't expect to surprise anyone in this week's ECC tournament.
Aycock rolled through conference play with a 12-0 record and scored 74 of its 101 goals against ECC competition. The Golden Falcons (16-3-0 overall) set a school record with 10 shutouts during the regular season and allowed just five goals in 12 conference games.
"It's been a great surprise this year," said Adkins. "We've had to move players around. We moved Sam Parrish to the back and shored up the defense. We've clicked at the right time and worked our way to be a better ballclub. The girls get a long good and share the bell well.
"Everybody supports everybody."
Aycock sophomore Cheyenne Warrick has scored an area-leading 57 goals and handed out nine assists. Fellow sophomore Madison Mercer has collected 23 goals and distributed 13 assists. Adkins anticipates Warrick will see a healthy dose of double- and triple-teams, leaving the onus on teammates to pick up the scoring load.
"In my personal opinion, I think what's going to happen is people are going to try and shut Cheyenne down," said Adkins. "Hopefully, Madison Mercer and Emily Borel will step up, and other people will keep the scoring going. We're just going to have to concentrate on our game."
The top-seeded Golden Falcons play host to the South Johnston-Triton winner on Wednesday night. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Hardy Talton Stadium.
Second-seeded Eastern Wayne (9-5, 9-3 ECC) entertains North Lenoir in the first round on Tuesday night. Ann Reed Hulse leads the Warriors with 10 goals and three assists. The Warriors lost seven starters from last season's team to graduation or injury after winning the regular-season and conference tournament titles in 2010.
Two of Eastern Wayne's three ECC losses this season were against Aycock.
"After finishing second in the league, we are looking to the ECC tournament to get another shot at defending one of last season's titles," said Warriors' head coach Jorg Wagner. "While I do not like to look too far ahead, I would give C.B. Aycock the nod to be the odds-on favorite on their side of the bracket. Should it come to that, we must be able to hold our concentration and discipline for an entire eighty minutes in the finals, and put away the chances we are given."
Third-seeded Cleveland (7-7-1, 7-4-1) plays host to sixth-seeded Southern Wayne (4-14-0, 2-10-0) on Tuesday night. Nichole Casto leads the Saints with 13 goals and two assists, while Cynthia Rivera has tallied seven goals and five assists.
Fourth-seeded Triton (9-8-0, 7-5-0) entertains fifth-seeded South Johnston (5-10-2, 3-7-2) in Tuesday's other quarterfinal game.
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