By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 12, 2011 1:47 PM
Wayne Country Day's defensive focus disappeared at halftime.
And Greenfield, as expected, turned up the intensity.
Four Knights combined for six second-half goals in a come-from-behind, 7-2 victory in the Coastal Plains Independent 1-A Conference regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday afternoon. Greenfield (13-2-1 overall) put the finishing touches on its second consecutive CPIC championship and 15th overall since 1992.
"We came into this game with, I think, a little too much cockiness," said Greenfield junior Walker Finklea, who collected two goals.
The Chargers (11-6-0, 7-3 CPIC) didn't flinch when sophomore midfielder Cameron Johnson took the game's first shot, which clanged off the crossbar. The Knights (10-0 CPIC) kept possession on their end of the field and Johnson started her hat-trick outing with a goal in the 10th minute.
WCDS turned the tempo its favor and notched the equalizing goal 41/2 minutes later. Junior Catherine Ford fired a bullet from 20-plus yards out that curled around one Greenfield defender and sailed into the upper left corner.
The teams played even the remainder of the half until Ford scored on a 25-yard shot that settled into the lower right corner of the net.
Ford reminded the team it wasn't done and that Greenfield would play harder in the second half. Sweeper Mack Thompson urged the defense to continue to play strong.
Their messages fell on deaf ears.
Finklea knotted the game at 2-2 on a shot that hit the crossbar and bounced inside the goal line.
"I was surprised, am glad it happened," said Finklea. "I think once we tied it up, we realized we could do this and it gave us a lot more confidence. We were all pretty shocked, but in a good way."
Johnson logged the game-winning goal in the 47th minute and the defending state champions were just warming up. Finklea and Johnson scored in the 54th and 58th minutes, which pushed the advantage to 5-2.
Eighth-graders Katie Stokely and Mary Love Taylor added one goal apiece in the final 20 minutes.
"We carried the ball better, we had passes to feet and we weren't playing kickball like we did the whole first half," said Finklea. "We stopped doing that and got it together."
Greenfield owned a decisive 23-5 edge in shots.
WCDS keeper Kim Martell, the team's lone senior, logged seven saves.
"We came out in the second half and didn't keep the pressure on them like we should have," said Chargers head coach William Hogan. "When we put pressure on them, they couldn't control the ball like they wanted to. We backed off at (the) half and I don't really know why.
"They shut down after that equalizing goal. I think the wind went out of our sails. I really think it's the 'wow' effect ... they don't think they can beat this team, but the first half clearly showed that they're beatable. We didn't keep pace, maintain what we had."