Chargers pull off OT shocker
By From staff reports
Published in Sports on May 18, 2011 1:47 PM
WILSON -- Stay focused.
Keep your marks.
Block out the fatigue.
The simple messages led to Wayne Country Day's biggest triumph of the season on the soccer pitch Tuesday evening.
Catherine Ford nailed the game-winning goal in the first overtime, and the Chargers shocked defending state champion Greenfield, 2-1, in quarterfinal-round action of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A girls' soccer playoffs.
Seventh-seeded Wayne Country Day (13-5-0 overall) faces third-seeded Shannon Forest Christian in the semifinals Friday at the Gillette Soccer Complex. Kickoff is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m.
"I told them it's just another game and we're going to walk onto that nice field that's wide, and use the width to our advantage," said Chargers head coach William Hogan. "The icing on the cake is to win on their home ground. If we do, that's fine and if we don't, that's fine, too.
"I just wanted us to play our game."
The Chargers did.
Hogan employed a man-to-man defense that didn't yield too many open looks on goal in the 100-minute affair. The second-seeded Knights (13-3-1) controlled the midfield and had more offensive punch because the Chargers tried to shut down their top scorers.
Using contact, good touch and focus, WCDS took a one-goal lead in the 23rd minute. Ford crossed the ball into the box and it bounced past Sarah Best to the foot of Margaret Tanner.
Tanner easily tucked the ball into the net.
"It was just a textbook play," said Hogan.
Mary Love Taylor notched the equalizer for Greenfield one minute later.
Each team preserved the tie for the next 50-plus minutes with solid defense, especially the Chargers, who got a 23-save outing from senior goal keeper Kim Martell.
"She played a great game, probably the best she has played all season," said an emotional Hogan.
Before the two 10-minute OT sessions began, Hogan encouraged his tired and short-handed team to play until the final whistle. All 13 players saw action in the contest and nearly every starter played the full 100 minutes.
"I just said to stay focused, pay attention to what you're doing and stayed marked up," said Hogan. "I realize we're tired. Just give me everything you've got and lay it on the field. We'll rest tomorrow."
Greenfield seized possession on the first OT kickoff and seconds later, Margaux Pope stole the ball from Cameron Johnson, who scored four goals in their previous meeting just six days ago. Pope played the ball downfield to Ford, who turned and drove it into the back of the net.
It was Ford's third goal of the postseason.
The Chargers held the Knights'' feet to the fire the remaining 19 minutes of overtime, and advanced to the final four for the third time in the last four years.
"We go into the semifinals with two big wins under our belt and a lot of confidence," said Hogan.