03/17/17 — GIRLS' SOCCER: Warriors' defensive plan slows down Bears

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GIRLS' SOCCER: Warriors' defensive plan slows down Bears

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 17, 2017 9:57 AM


Eastern Wayne boasted the top-scoring offense among Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference teams heading into Thursday's battle with perennial league contender New Bern.

The Warriors didn't showcase their talent.

Second-year EW head coach Scott Summers decided to sacrifice his team's 5.4 goal-scoring average for additional defensive pressure. And he couldn't have been more pleased despite a 2-0 loss to the Bears.

"Tonight, I think they did a great job," Summers said. "The girls did a great job staying with their man and just sticking to the gameplan. We were defensive all the way through. They all played hard all the way around."

Summers' main concern?

The Bears' dribbling skills.

He employed a double-team strategy that prevented New Bern (4-2-1 overall, 1-0-0 ECC) from stringing together passes and generating a consistent attack. The Warriors, on occasion, let a midfielder or forward slip past them, but their stalwart defensive back line cleared numerous balls back toward midfield.

"They came in 5-0 tonight, so I knew they were doing some decent things," NB head coach Tim Guter said. "Scott is going to have them organized. His gameplan coming in tonight was 'hey, let's just try to keep them off the scoreboard and can we counter attack.'?"

The Bears pressured early and scored on Meghan Guter's shot outside the 18-yard box that drifted into the upper right corner of the net.

Eastern Wayne (5-1-0, 1-1-0) reorganized itself and played superb defense the remaining 35 minutes. The Bears yielded a corner kick in the closing seconds of the opening half and kept the Warriors off the board.

But the scoring chance sparked EW.

Claire Molloy, the ECC's leading scorer with 10 goals, collected a loose ball near midfield early in the second half. Tracked by two red-shirted defenders, the EW junior fired a shot toward the back post that sailed wide.

Minutes later, Yessi Guitierrez received a corner kick on her right boot inside the 6-yard box. The shot deflected off an NB defender.

"We've been working on corner-kick plays and we've scored a few," Summers said. "I was itching right there. I thought it was going in. So close. I would have loved to have had one of those."

The Bears sealed the outcome on a set piece in the 68th minute. Guter lofted a corner kick toward the back post and senior Hannah Smith -- un-marked on the play -- punched it past the out-stretched arms of EW keeper Veronica Makdad.

Makdad ended the night with seven saves.

"I don't think their goals today were good goals where our girls played good defense and then they scored," Summers said. "I feel like we could prevent those two goals. (But) going forward I think the result is a positive thing for us."