08/28/12 — Grieve's goal salvages 3-3 tie for C.B. Aycock

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Grieve's goal salvages 3-3 tie for C.B. Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 28, 2012 1:48 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Spring Creek came within a gloved fingertip of claiming its first-ever victory over county nemesis Charles B. Aycock on the soccer pitch Monday afternoon.

A pair of juniors made sure it didn't happen.

Collin Grieve's goal off Jacob Harrison's assist in the 75th minute allowed the Golden Falcons to earn a 3-3 draw at "The Swamp." It was the season-opening match for both teams.

Aycock improved to a phenomenal 36-4-2 against county foes since 2006, including a 3-0-2 mark over the Gators.

"The effort was there, the intensity was there and the technical ability was lacking at times, but it was the first game of the season," Aycock assistant coach Byron Adkins said. "I thought we were way rusty. We got better in spurts, but we've got a long way to go."

The Golden Falcons led 2-1 at halftime on goals from Bailey Lynch and Kyle Powell, but the Gators connected on the equalizing goal in the 42nd minute. Ivan Lemus, marked by an Aycock defender inside the penalty area, ripped a shot toward the near post.

Keeper Brandon Merritt dove to his left, but the ball deflected off of his gloves and into the net.

One minute later, the Golden Falcons went a man down when Powell drew his second yellow card after a foul near midfield. The Gators (0-0-1 overall) constantly applied pressure as the intense-filled contest grew more physical.

"Spring Creek is a good team, very technical," Adkins said. "They pass the ball well and play well together. I thought our defense played a little better since we were down a man. The jobs changed and the focuses changed."

Aycock's anxiety increased in the 66th minute. The Gators' Brayan Lopez converted the go-ahead goal on a low, floating shot that caught Merritt flat-footed between the pipes.

Spring Creek back-up keeper Jose Sanchez-Garcia preserved the one-goal advantage for the next 10 minutes. He stopped two point-blank shots by Collin Zacharzuk, and another Golden Falcon attempt rolled just wide of the goal mouth.

Grieve stepped onto the field as a substitute around the 74th minute.

The Golden Falcons gathered a loose ball near midfield and Harrison dribbled toward the 18 box. Chased by a couple of Spring Creek defenders, Harrison zipped a cross to Grieve and Sanchez-Garcia rushed from his line to challenge.

Grieve slipped the ball underneath Sanchez-Garcia's gloves and watched it roll into the net for the 3-3 deadlock.

"If it wasn't for the cross, we couldn't have gotten the goal," Grieve said. "I have to give it to my teammates. (Watching) from the bench was heart pounding."

Otto Binar scored the first goal for the Gators, who finished with a 20-17 edge in shots. Merritt registered six saves between the pipes for the Golden Falcons.

"It was a good match today, both teams played a very hard game," Spring Creek assistant coach Jeff Sullivan said. "We've got a few things we can work on. It's tough to walk away with a 3-3 tie."