04/25/12 — Golden Falcons win second straight ECC crown

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Golden Falcons win second straight ECC crown

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 25, 2012 1:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Twenty three opponents have tried.

Twenty three opponents have failed.

Charles B. Aycock erased an early 1-0 deficit and clinched its second straight Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season girls' soccer title with a 5-3 win over Cleveland on Tuesday evening. The Golden Falcons earned their 23rd consecutive regular-season ECC victory.

"Tonight we claimed the conference championship and Cleveland can't catch us for first place" Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "The ECC finals (should) be here and we'll probably play Cleveland. Hopefully, they'll give us a better test and hopefully we'll play a little better."

Courtney Morris scored on a header off Monique Torres' cross in the sixth minute to give the Rams an early lead.

The Golden Falcons (14-3-0 overall, 11-0-0 ECC) missed several quality scoring chances throughout the first half. Ariel Strickland's shot off a rebound missed high in the ninth minute. Cleveland keeper Katelyn Lowery made a diving save on Cheyenne Warrick's shot in the 11th minute.

Warrick's shot in the 14th minute sailed high.

"I think it's more nerves than anything," Adkins said. "The girls get so hyped up, and they shoot and shoot and shoot. As the game goes on, they relax and they get into the mode they have. We end up playing how we want to play with less shots and more dribbling to the goal."

Warrick gathered a rebound and fired it past Lowery to tie the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute. Two minutes later, Warrick took Niki Fitzmorris' pass and made a long run down the far sideline before scoring to put Aycock in front, 2-1.

Warrick extended the lead to 3-1 on a penalty kick in the 45th minute. She scored her 55th goal of the season after collecting a deflection inside the 18-yard box as the Golden Falcons' advantage grew to 4-1.

"I thought offensively we played well," Adkins said. "Defensively we had some issues and that's not characteristic for us. Fortunately for us, we scored more than they scored and that's the name of the game."

Sam Parrish capped Aycock's scoring off Warrick's assist in the 62nd minute.

Emily Truelove scored a pair of second-half goals for the Rams.

The Golden Falcons conclude regular-season play Thursday at Eastern Wayne.