03/11/12 — Cleveland soccer downs Eastern Wayne

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Cleveland soccer downs Eastern Wayne

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 11, 2012 12:42 AM

Youth-laden Eastern Wayne continues to search for its identity two weeks into the high school girls' soccer season.

The Warriors, who return just four starters from a year ago, might have grown up a little bit, too, on the Little Big Horn pitch Friday evening.

Cleveland scored three goals within an 18 1/2-minute span in the opening half and cruised to a 4-1 victory in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play. The Rams (4-1 overall, 2-0 ECC) avenged three shutout losses to the Warriors last season.

"Cleveland definitely had a stronger team tonight," EW head coach Jorg Wagner said. "They had two dangerous players and we were not able to contain the pressure they had on us for most of the first half, and it showed in the score.

"We made a couple of individual mistakes."

Eastern Wayne keeper Erica Duke, who logged 11 saves, stayed busy between the pipes for most of the 80-minute contest. Duke stopped three of five shots by the Rams during the first 15-plus minutes of play.

Freshman midfielder Emily Truelove broke the scoreless tie with an unassisted goal in the 17th minute. Freshman Brittany Preston and junior forward Elizabeth Torres scored in the 29th and 35th minutes, respectively, to make it 3-0.

"I thought the second half we came back a little bit stronger and there is room for hope there," said Wagner.

The Warriors misfired on a penalty kick attempt three minutes into the second half. Wagner's team let two additional scoring opportunities slip away when balls bounced into the penalty area missed feet and rolled harmlessly to the sideline.

"If we get the PK, your chest opens up a little bit and you start to run harder, but we were a little unlucky on that," said Wagner. "We ran behind the whole game and that's difficult, especially for a young team like we have. It's a good experience for our players because it's not the type of thrashing we got at Hunt.

"But still, it shows you that the little things that you don't do as an individual makes a difference in the game."

Freshman Megan Mozingo denied Cleveland's shutout bid with an unassisted goal in the 74th minute.