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Eagles' Effort Falls Short

Varsity vs Jacksonville HS on 10/14/2010 6:30:00 PM
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2010 by Adam Thompson, New Bern Sun Journal

Eagles' effort falls short

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Loses to Jacksonville, 2-1

Sun Journal

VANCEBORO – The West Craven Eagles made the second-ranked Jacksonville Cardinals earn their 15th victory of the season in Vanceboro on Thursday.

Herlington Rugama’s goal with 19 minutes remaining lifted the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory over the Eagles.

For a West Craven soccer program that began five years ago, taking Jacksonville to the limit was an accomplishment.

The Eagles (13-2-3, 5-2-3), who already have the most wins in their school’s history, played an impressive defensive performance in the first half.

“I just told my team tonight that no one expects us to come out and win tonight,” said West Craven coach Aaron Steele. “So I just wanted them to go out and show them something different. I just told them to play a strong defensive game, and then attack.”

In almost a mirror image of the first game this season in Jacksonville, the teams took a 1-1 tie into halftime. But in earlier meeting, Jacksonville pulled away with three goals in the second half.

Steele reminded his team at halftime of Thursday’s game about the 4-1 loss a few weeks ago.

“That was the topic of discussion,” Steele said. “It was 1-1 at half, and we had a really good shot to shock them. I told them that we really needed to utilize the final 40 minutes.”

Jacksonville scored first on Nathan Vatcher’s goal with 21 minutes remaining in the first half. Three minutes later, West Craven’s Jaime Cortes launched a 40-yard bomb that landed past the outstretched arms of Jacksonville goalkeeper Holland Hammond.

It was Cortes’ 41st goal of the season.

“This goal, Jaime just said give me the ball,” Steele said. “It was an amazing shot. (Jacksonville) knows and the whole conference knows he is a threat, but I didn’t think he’d sink it from that far.”

West Craven’s Ryan Hardison had a shot glance off the top of the post, while Jacksonville’s Patrick Lynch, Cody Warf and Warren Washington had chances.

Jacksonville (15-0-2, 8-0-1) out-shot West Craven 21-4.

“West Craven did a great job,” said Jacksonville coach Dave Miller. “They had a great defensive plan and didn’t really give us easy looks. The few looks that we did get, we were a little unlucky.”

Jacksonville took seven corner kicks and Hammond had one save.

West Craven goalkeeper Sam Mitchell had his best game of the season with 10 saves.

The Eagles have back-to-back road games next week against D.H. Conley and West Carteret. Jacksonville plays Washington on Tuesday.

Adam Thompson can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at athompson@freedomenc.com.

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