Saints' offense explodes in final 17 minutes
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 24, 2013 11:00 AM
Eastern Wayne was 17 minutes away from a senior night victory that would have been a satisfying end to a disappointing season.
Southern Wayne had other ideas.
The Saints scored six goals in the final 17 minutes and handed the Warriors a 6-1 loss in the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference regular-season finale for both teams Wednesday evening.
The Warriors controlled the majority of the possession in the opening 40 minutes. Deonte' Davis got Eastern Wayne on the scoreboard with a shot from outside the 18-yard box that sailed over the head of Southern Wayne keeper Michel Peterson.
Southern Wayne (9-6-1, 6-5-1 ECC) dictated the tempo in the second half as its midfield began winning loose balls and sending passes forward. Jose Ponce had his shot hit the crossbar in the 50th minute.
After Peterson was injured and spent several minutes on the sidelines, he was inserted into the game as a forward and the move paid big dividends. The sophomore won the ball from Warriors' keeper Alex Sandavol and tucked it into the back of the net, tying the game at 1-1 in the 63rd minute.
Three minutes later, Peterson scored on a header off Obens Tilus' free kick to put the Saints ahead for good at 2-1.
"Michel got hurt and I took him out and after a few minutes he told me he was good to go," Southern Wayne head coach Mario Aguilar said. "We were having trouble scoring and I asked him he wanted to play forward, and he went in there and gave us a big lift."
Desir Deufort added a goal in the 67th minute as the margin grew to 3-1. Peterson tacked on goals in the 70th and 79th minutes. Garrett Hatsell also scored for the Saints.
"It's a disease and I think once you have it it's for life, or in our case for a season," Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner said. "I thought in the first half we played very well and held up quite well. Then it was the way it's been all season long. Once we give up one (goal) they just come. I'll take the blame for that."
Southern Wayne returns to action Wednesday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.
Eastern Wayne concluded the season 4-12-0 overall and 1-11-0 in conference play. Wagner plans to evaluate multiple facets of a team that lost just four seniors including the team's offside trap strategy. At times the tactic was an advantage and in other instances it proved to be complex and difficult for younger players to execute.
"It's an advanced way we play and maybe we have to slim it down and make it a little bit easier," Wagner said. "Maybe we have to make the zones a little bit smaller. May we have to go back to smaller stuff in the pre-season to create 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 stuff and then bring it back to the whole game."
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