05/18/17 — 1A GIRLS SOCCER: Southwest Onslow ousts Goldsboro

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1A GIRLS SOCCER: Southwest Onslow ousts Goldsboro

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 18, 2017 9:59 AM


Some Goldsboro players sat and leaned against the fence, took a few long swigs of water and wiped sweat -- or tears -- from their faces.

Others sat and picked at the grass.

The curtain closed on a historical soccer season -- program-best 18 wins, an Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference title, two playoff victories. But the success couldn't comfort the sting of a season-ending loss to perennial power Southwest Onslow.

The Stallions knocked the ball around the field, used the width to tire out the Cougars and walked away with a 4-0 victory Wednesday. Southwest (16-4-3 overall) set up a date with unbeaten and top-seeded Carrboro in the N.C. High School Athletic Association east 2-A semifinals.

"Their speed of play just kept us chasing our tails," GHS head coach Chad Lewis said. "They played a step faster than everybody on our team the whole night. That's a credit to them being a very good squad.

"They've got 11 good soccer players on the field at all times and we have six, maybe seven most of the time, and fill in with phenomenal athletes that just aren't sure about the game yet."

Mixed with youth and talent, the Stallions displayed both characteristics during the 80-minute affair contested on the Cougar Stadium pitch. Southwest controlled possession, communicated, worked the ball through the midfield and consistently generated chances on frame.

They finally struck in the 31st minute.

Sophomore Laney Gonzalez gained possession of a free ball and carried it down the left sideline into the 18-yard box. She centered a cross to Corianna King, who passed it to the boot of Crow.

Crow's soft shot into the net capped the three-touch textbook possession.

"They were a phenomenal passing team...don't know if they missed a pass all night," Lewis said. "When we had to chase, chase and chase, our legs got wobbly...got real tired in that first half. I knew if they ever got that first goal, it would kind of deflate us just a little bit.

"It took the wind out of our defensive sails."

It was Crow's seventh goal of the season.

"This is a more narrow field than we're used to playing on and so we talked about the connections that had to happen in the middle prior to it going on the outside," Southwest head coach Chelsea DZurilla said. "We've worked a lot on connecting, do a lot of possession in practice. They're smart players and ask questions. They''ve started to apply their knowledge of the game."

SWO added its second goal two minutes later.

Riley McCauley attempted a shot that drew Goldsboro keeper Selena Morales (nine saves) off her line. Morales punched at the ball with both hands, but it rolled off of her fingertips and into the net.

Goldsboro trailed 2-0 at the half.

"This is her second year playing keeper and by far, she has come leaps and bounds," said Lewis, who credited Morales' offseason work with former Eastern Wayne head coach Jorg Wagner.

The Stallions all but sealed the outcome during a two-minute stretch in the second half. Co-captain Hope Kohl converted two free kicks in the 52nd and 54th minutes.

The Cougars attempted five shots -- all set pieces. SWO keeper Ty'resa Brown notched three saves and watched the other two sail over the crossbar.

The Stallions led in shots on frame (16-5) and corner kicks (9-0). The East Central 2-A Conference runners-up extended their win streak to four, earned their 15th shutout of the season and have yielded just two goals during the last 580 minutes of play.