11/02/13 — Spring Creek soccer downs Tarboro

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Spring Creek soccer downs Tarboro

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 2, 2013 11:30 PM


TARBORO -- Spring Creek might not have clicked on all cylinders Saturday evening, but it got the job done.

Brayan Lopez knocked in two goals and the Gators cobbled out a 3-0 victory over Tarboro in second-round action of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A boys' soccer playoffs.

The fifth-seeded Gators (14-3-2 overall) travel to top-seeded Wallace-Rose Hill on Wednesday. A game time has not been determined.

Minus two key sparkplugs, Otto Binar and Giovani Avila, Spring Creek secured its ninth postseason win in program history. Avila played sparingly in the opening half. Binar worked 25-plus minutes, and spent most of the second half with his left foot iced and elevated on a water cooler.

"As much as Gio says he's ready to play, you can tell it's bothering him just a little bit," SC head coach Linda Salter said. "Otto knew that he wasn't able to go, which is good. We're fortunate that we could go without him the second half and keep pressure on Tarboro."

Keep pressure, indeed.

Spring Creek controlled the tempo from the opening kickoff and generated scoring chances with consistent passing through open spaces. The Vikings (6-6-2) constantly stayed a step behind and couldn't get second touches on 50-50 balls.

Lopez broke the scoreless tie in the 10th minute.

Senior midfielder and co-captain David Vega chipped a ball over the out-stretched gloves of Tarboro keeper Jordan Williams inside the 18-yard box. Lopez, who camped out at the back post, slipped in a left-footed shot to make it 1-0.

The Gators kept firing, but couldn't finish. Shots out of the flow of play and off set pieces were either turned away by a packed-in Tarboro defense or sailed over the goal.

"That was the issue, finishing because we pretty much dominated the ball," Salter said. "We moved the ball good ... one-touch passing and had a couple of good shots outside. Juan (Vega) had a couple down in the corner he couldn't get turned.

"They kept changing up front (offensively) to give us a change of scenery a little bit to get the ball in, but our defense held up."

Tarboro's Joey Lancaster misfired on two second-half corner kicks and Spring Creek goalie Jose Sanchez (two saves) stopped another shot inside the final 10 minutes. The Gators collected their fourth road shutout of the season and sixth overall.

David Vega iced the outcome with an unassisted goal in the 71st minute. Lopez finished off the Vikings with a goal-scoring strike inside the box during the 76th minute.

Spring Creek held advantages in shots (22-5) and corner kicks (5-4). Tarboro committed 12 fouls, drew a yellow card and played a man down in the final five minutes.

"We still have a couple of things to work on because we're going to have to step it up again from here," Salter said. "Each level, we've got to bring it higher and higher."