Saints knock out Trojans from 3A soccer playoffs
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 31, 2013 1:48 PM
DUDLEY -- Mario Aguilar could barely speak, let alone cheer, but he had to like what he saw.
Two days after the Southern Wayne coach had his thyroid removed due to cancer, he watched his team defeat South Johnston 4-1 in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A state playoffs on Wednesday evening.
The win was the Saints' first playoff victory since it defeated South Brunswick in the first round of the 2010 state playoffs. Southern Wayne plays host to Jacksonville White Oak at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
"I think this is a great step for this program," Saints' assistant coach Luis Castaneda said. "This program has come a long way especially for us to get a win in the playoffs. We've worked hard for it."
The Trojans missed an early scoring opportunity as Jose Correa's header hit the post in the fourth minute.
Southern Wayne (10-6-1 overall) cashed in on its only scoring chance of the first half as Desir Deufort dribbled into the 18-yard box and fired a shot past South Johnston keeper Luis Garcia.
The two teams traded possession until South Johnston's Carlos Parra tucked a corner kick into the net to tie the game at 1-1 in the 35th minute.
"I think after that goal that was a wake-up call for us to say, 'hey, we're in the playoffs and we need to step it up,'" Castaneda said. "South Johnston is always a great team and I think that goal was a wake-up call."
The Saints seemed to play as a more cohesive unit during the final 40 minutes. Their communication improved, passes were on target and more scoring chances were created.
Deufort put the Saints ahead for good in the 43rd minute as he raced into the 18-yard box and slipped a shot past Garcia. Eight minutes later, Deufort fed a cross through the 18-yard box to Billy Gonzalez who extended the lead to 3-1.
Ulysses Ramirez's goal from outside the 18-yard box in the 65th minute capped the scoring.
Southern Wayne finished with a 14-8 edge in shots on goal.
"In the first half we played a little sloppy," Castaneda said. "We actually picked things up in the second half. We got more organized and created more opportunities and I think that was the key to our win."
The Trojans' frustrations boiled over in the second half as two South Johnston players were given red cards, including one Trojan who threw a punch. Two more South Johnston players drew yellow cards, while the Saints maintained their composure.
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