Aycock hopes to get rid of playoff demons
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 7, 2013 1:47 PM
Most of its current players were in elementary school the last time the Charles B. Aycock girls' soccer team won a N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A playoff game.
Sooner or later, the Golden Falcons' regular-season success has to carry over to the time of year that truly defines programs. Aycock has suffered eight consecutive opening-round postseason losses and has been outscored 33-8 during that stretch. Four defeats have been shutouts.
The Golden Falcons last won a playoff game in 2004 -- a 1-0 penalty-kick shootout decision over J.H. Webb.
At some point, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances an individual, a team or an organization endures, someone must step up and either through words or actions say "enough is enough."
Aycock (13-6-0 overall) hopes to change its recent trend when it travels to West Brunswick for an opening-round playoff game Wednesday.
The Golden Falcons possess the talent with Cheyenne Warrick, Alex Van Meir, Alex Strickland and Emily Borel -- and their supporting cast -- to put those postseason demons to rest once and for all. Warrick has scored 120 goals since the start of last season and has the ability to beat multiple defenders with the ball at her feet or set up teammates.
Strickland has picked up her scoring production in recent games, which has forced opposing defenses to not focus solely on Warrick. Borel provides awareness and vision in the midfield, and her ability to feed passes to open teammates causes problems for defenses.
Aycock has scored 102 goals this season.
Most of the Golden Falcons' players have experienced state playoff soccer and the urgency of knowing their season is on the line. The weight of the program's playoff misfortunes or the adversity that most certainly comes in any postseason game should not be enough to rattle a team that's been there before.
These aren't early-season, non-conference games against county opponents where the intensity has a different feel. These are the state playoffs where the Golden Falcons' recent postseason history will tell you that anything is possible.
For Aycock, this trip to the postseason can't be about what's written in history books or the painful sting of bad memories. For eight seniors who could be tugging on that uniform one last time, this is only about one thing -- how bad do you want it?
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