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West Craven Wins First Soccer Playoff Game

Varsity vs South Johnston HS on 11/2/2010 6:00:00 PM
Posted Tuesday, November 02, 2010 by New Bern Sun Journal Staff

West Craven wins first soccer playoff game

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New Bern falls to Hoggard

Sun Journal

FOUR OAKS – West Craven made school history Tuesday night. The Eagles picked up a 2-0 win over the South Johnston Trojans, giving them their first soccer playoff victory.

“It feels amazing,” West Craven coach Aaron Steele said. “I was just dying to hear that final whistle.

“I can’t say enough about the overwhelming support we got tonight. That’s from the school and the community. It shows what a tight-knit community we have.”

The Eagles (15-5-4), the third seed from the Coastal Conference, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the game in this N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A first-round game. Senior Jaime Cortes took a feed from Joe Valdez and punched in his 50th goal of the season.

Steele said it was one of the few times his star scorer didn’t struggle on the night.

“Jaime probably missed about eight one-on-ones,” Steele said. “I just think he’s not used to playing in the playoffs. The playoffs are a totally different environment. I told him that since he missed those eight shots tonight, he better get eight back the next game.”

Lamberto Gomez made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute when he scored off a broken play.

The Trojans (17-6-1), the Eastern Carolina Conference champions, didn’t have any answers.

“They had a good team,” Steele said. “We didn’t really execute against them. The guys aren’t used to a playoff atmosphere, but we got the win.”

Sam Mitchell, a senior goalkeeper, played a big role in that. He stopped eight shots on the night.

“Sam was the all star tonight,” Steele said. “He was incredible. It’s definitely one to remember for him.”

The Eagles will play either Wilson Hunt (18-2), the second seed from the Big East Conference, or Hertford County (0-14) in Saturday’s second round.

“I don’t know much about them,” Steele said of the Hunt Warriors. “I do know they have a soccer powerhouse.

“It will be a big challenge. The guys just have to believe in themselves.”

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