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Eagles tie Vikings on pitch

Varsity vs White Oak HS on 10/5/2010 6:30:00 PM
Posted Tuesday, October 05, 2010 by Adam Thompson, New Bern Sun Journal

Eagles tie Vikings on pitch

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Cortes will miss two games

Sun Journal


VANCEBORO -- The West Craven Eagles are learning just how physical playing in the Coastal Conference can be.

In a game that had two red cards, one yellow card, a 20-minute delay for an injury and many more penalties, West Craven tied 1-1 with White Oak on Tuesday in Vanceboro.

“Some of our smallest guys are the most physical ones and some of the bigger guys aren’t the most physical,” said West Craven coach Aaron Steele. “I tell them that this is a high-tempo game. There is a lot of contact and (the referees) let a lot go.”

West Craven senior and leading goal-scorer Jaime Cortes, who didn’t start the match because of a punishment, was handed a red card after retaliating to an attack on a teammate.

With less than eight minutes remaining, Eagles’ senior Joe Valdez was kicked in the head by White Oak’s Ty Baker, who was immediately ejected. Cortes then gave Baker a shove before he was forced to leave the game.

The Eagles will be without Cortes for Thursday’s match against South Central and Tuesday’s game against Havelock.

“I feel like sometimes that the best West Craven team that shows up is when we play a man down,” Steele said. “It kind of makes you, as a player, play outside of your potential. Everybody on the team kind of rises to the occasion.”

West Craven got a break early in the game when a player was fouled in the penalty kick. Just 15 minutes in the game, sophomore Lamberto Gomez calmly placed the ball into the back of the net.

With 1:58 remaining in the first half, White Oak’s Ian Russick scored on a breakaway goal, tying the game at 1-1 at halftime.

The teams went scoreless for the entire second half and two 10-minute overtime sessions.

“We had one miscue that cost us,” Steele said. “It started with a bad throw-in and led to a goal. That’s why we rehearse that in practice. I expect perfection from them.”

Both teams had opportunities to score in the second half. Gomez, Ryan Hardison, Cortes and Sue Rocham had shots on goal for the Eagles.

Jacob Killmeier, Russick, Leo Youngs and DeAngelo Kearns had chances for White Oak.

“We possessed the ball the majority of the game,” said White Oak coach Buddy Carroll. “We really missed a bunch of opportunities. The game should have went our way.”

West Craven (11-1-2, 3-1-2 Coastal Conference) was out-shot 15-8. Goalkeeper Sam Mitchell had eight saves.

Steele was also quick to credit defenders Antonio Lewis, Antonio Labra, Nick Mitchell and Mike Cauley.

“We made a couple weird plays in the first half. That wasn’t our best defense,” Steele said. “That second half, that was one of the cleaner halves we’ve played. We made a couple adjustments.”

The Eagles had five corner kicks, while the Vikings had seven.

“It wasn’t our best outing,” Steele said. “Our movement and everything just wasn’t on par. White Oak is a smart team and we just didn’t step our game up.”

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