Spring Creek claims dramatic win over Southern Wayne
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 30, 2013 1:57 PM
DUDLEY -- Drama.
A game well worth the price of admission.
The latest installment in the Spring Creek-Southern Wayne soccer rivalry delivered everything it has become known for. The Gators scored a pair of goals late in the first half and hung on for a 2-1 victory at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex on Thursday evening.
The Saints wasted little time controlling the tempo in the first half. Southern Wayne pressured the Spring Creek defense early as Obens Tilus' free kick was saved by Gators' keeper Jose Sanchez.
Southern Wayne continued to string together passes while finding room to work in the middle of the field. Alfonso Ortiz's shot inside the 18-yard box deflected off a Gators' defender in the 16th minute. Southern Wayne got on the scoreboard as Billy Gonzalez scored on a through-ball from Ulysses Ramirez.
Spring Creek (2-0-1 overall) built its own offensive attack midway through the first half. The Gators earned a corner kick in the 23rd minute and were generously awarded a penalty kick five minutes later. Otto Binar beat Southern Wayne keeper Michel Peterson to tie the game at 1-1.
Binar found the back of the net in stoppage time on Brayan Lopez's assist as the Gators led 2-1 at halftime.
"We felt very fortunate to be up 2-1 at halftime," Spring Creek head coach Linda Salter said. "Southern Wayne controlled most of the possession in the first half. We told our kids at halftime they had to come out in the second half and match their intensity."
The Saints (0-1-0) asserted themselves offensively throughout the final 40 minutes. Ortiz missed wide on a potential game-tying penalty kick in the 52nd minute. Southern Wayne couldn't convert on corner kicks in the 61st and 72 minutes.
The Saints' Jose Ponce dribbled into the 18-yard box in stoppage time and had his crossing pass snatched up by Sanchez. Southern Wayne was whistled for being offside seven times, including four in the second half. The Saints also received two yellow cards in the second half.
"We've got to work on not being offside," Southern Wayne head coach Mario Aguilar said. "I'm glad we were able to create chances. We've got to work on finishing. But, I think we have potential."
The win was the second for the Gators over an Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference school in as many days.
"This was a big week for us," Salter said. "I think it gives the kids some confidence. Several teams from our conference made the playoffs last season. We know when we get into conference play we're going to have to bring it every night."