Aycock seeks to change postseason history
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 8, 2011 1:51 AM
Charles B. Aycock's relationship with the N.C. High School Athletic Association state soccer playoffs has been messy, complicated and at times down right heart breaking.
The Golden Falcons have not won a boys' or girls' state playoff game since 2007, and neither squad has advanced past the third round.
Aycock's boys' last postseason victory came in a 5-1 win over Triton in the second round of the 2007 playoffs. The Golden Falcons are 0-4 in the postseason since then, with all four defeats decided by one goal on their home pitch.
Aycock is 52-11-3 in the regular season during that stretch and has won four of the last six Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championships. The Golden Falcons have won six straight ECC tournament titles.
Aycock's girls' lone state playoff win in this decade came in a 1-0 victory over J.H. Webb that was decided in penalty kicks in 2004. The Golden Falcons have been to the postseason every year since 2003 and are 1-7 during that time. Aycock has been held scoreless for more than 350 minutes since it's last playoff goal.
It's never too late for reconciliation in any relationship.
The Golden Falcons can take the first step with a victory over West Carteret in the first round of the playoffs on Wednesday night.
Aycock (17-4-0 overall) won its second ECC regular-season title in program history this season. The Golden Falcons play with the swagger of an experienced team of veterans. It's young, talented roster features multiple scoring options and creates a difficult match up for an unfamiliar opponent in the win-or-go-home state playoffs.
Sophomore Cheyenne Warrick has scored an unprecedented 61 goals with 10 assists. Assigning multiple defenders to Warrick in hopes of slowing down Aycock's offense has proven to be a mistake. Fellow sophomore Madison Mercer has provided 24 goals and 15 assists. Emily Borel and Alex Strickland have also turned into viable scoring options.
The Golden Falcons have recorded 108 goals in 21 games.
Sophomores Samantha Parrish and Jaden Thames, along with freshman Cady Sheeks and junior Dani Paynter, have provided solid play defensively all season. Aycock allowed five goals in 12 ECC games during the regular season.
The majority of the players on the Golden Falcons' roster were in elementary school when they claimed their last playoff win in 2004. Perhaps, being understandably naive of Aycock's playoff history and not feeling the pressure that comes with knowing postseason wins have been elusive for a program could prove to be one of the Golden Falcons' biggest assets.
Leave it to a group of underclassmen bursting at the seams with talent to look history dead in the eyes and simply refuse to care.
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