10/19/13 — WCDS rolls past Shannon Forest in soccer

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WCDS rolls past Shannon Forest in soccer

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 19, 2013 11:10 PM


Jacob Magera gave his senior teammates a send-off they won't soon forget Friday afternoon.

The Wayne Country Day sophomore deposited two goals and assisted on another goal in a 3-1, opening-round victory over Shannon Forest (S.C.) in the 2013 N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A boys' soccer playoffs.

The fifth-seeded Chargers (11-6-1 overall) carry an eight-game win streak into Tuesday's elite eight battle at fourth-seeded Ahoskie Ridgecroft. The unbeaten and untied Rams (18-0-0) are ranked No. 2 in the latest state poll.

"We know they've played a lot of 2-A and 3-A schools this season, so we knew it was going to be a little bit physical ... not as easy as their results has led us to believe," WCDS head coach Steve Ellis said of 12th-seeded Shannon Forest.

"It was a case of not being slack and taking it for granted like last year, but stepping up to the challenge, winning the ball and concentrating on playing our game."

The Crusaders (3-14-3) couldn't duplicate last year's stunning, first-round overtime triumph over the Chargers.

WCDS pressured from the opening kickoff and controlled possession for the first 10 minutes of play. Shannon Forest solved its defensive issues and turned the game into a back-and-forth affair before Magera connected on his first strike midway through the first half.

Miller Gerrard sneaked a ball through the Crusaders' defense to Ramel Carpenter, who passed it outside to Matt Kierski. Kierski drew a corner kick when Shannon Forest's Mike Miller knocked it over the end line.

Kierski settled the ball near the flag, lofted it into the box and an unmarked Magera connected on a textbook header just inside the near post for the 1-0 advantage.

"Quality," a grinning Ellis said of the shot.

Magera hooked up with Ramel Carpenter in the 23rd minute, boosting the Chargers' lead to 2-0.

The Crusaders closed the gap to 2-1 in the 31st minute.

But Magera wasn't quite finished.

Teammate Charlie Roethling chased down a loose ball near the Chargers' end line and crossed it to Kierski toward the back post. Kierski sent a one-touch pass to a wide-open Magera, whose shot deflected off the post and landed in the net.

"I kind of wonder where he was to start the season," Ellis said of Magera. "He's really come alive the last four or five games. Him working with Miller (Gerrard) in the middle and they're into a rhythm now if he's having a bad little five minutes, then I'm going to step up."

Chargers keeper Patrick Hall stopped all three Crusader shots in the second half, including a one-on-one cleat save against Kyle Bradley. Hall logged five total saves for WCDS, which won a postseason game for the first time since 2009.

"The key factor for today was the determination to win the game," Ellis said. "(We were) conscious of what happened last season and the determination for us to get to Tuesday to play Ridgecroft. I actually quite fancy our chances.

"The boys want to challenge themselves against tougher opposition and that pulled them through today."

And kept the season alive for seven seniors -- Gerrard, Carpenter, Robert Glass, Tyler Talton, Holden Edwards, Jacob Parks and Jonathon Stoner.