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Varsity vs Havelock HS on 10/4/2011 6:00:00 PM
Posted Wednesday, October 05, 2011 by Kevin Travis, New Bern Sun Journal

Eagles scoot past Rams on pitch

Rocham, own goal propels West Craven

West Craven's Javier Monk, left, battles with Havelock's Noah Kemble during a men's soccer matchup held in Vanceboro Tuesday. West Craven picked up a 2-0 win.

Sun Journal staff

VANCEBORO — West Craven took advantage of its rare opportunities, slipping past Havelock 2-0 in Tuesday’s Coastal Conference soccer match.

The Eagles (7-3-1, 4-3-0) took advantage of a Havelock miscue in the first half for a 1-0 lead. An own goal by the Rams (4-8-2, 2-3-1), where the ball bounced off a defender and past unsuspecting keeper Patrick McKenna, handed West Craven the lead.

West Craven’s Sue Rocham was in the right place at the right time in the second half, blasting home a ricochet for a 2-0 lead with 20:45 to play. That was all the Eagles needed, as Jesus Munoz (two saves) finished with a shutout.

“We have freshmen that step up and, when they do, I feel that we’re one of the best teams that can compete in this conference,” West Craven coach Aaron Steele said. “It falls on those guys and when they jell with the upper classmen, we’re a good team.”

Freshmen Dalton Williams, Pablo Ramirez, Caleb Lockhart and Christian Wethington all stepped up their play on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, defenders Nick Mitchell, Mike Cauley and Chris Cope did a solid job in limiting Havelock’s scoring chances, which included marking super sophomore Noah Kemble all game.

“Hats off to Noah,” Steele said. “When you can contain him, you can contain a little bit of their offense, but Peter (Brown) is just as deadly.”

Havelock coach Jack Fennell said his Rams were prepared for the Eagles’ style of play.

“They were a lot more physical than we were,” Fennell said. “We weren’t ready for that. It’s as simple as that.”

Havelock, coming off a 3-3 tie with J.H. Rose, a 4-A member, on Monday, had a few scoring opportunities in the first half. However, a free kick by Brown, a corner kick by Joseph Andrews and a long shot from Andrew Bird came up empty.

Rocham and Williams had chances in the first half, but McKenna (five saves) kept it a 1-0 first-half deficit.

The Eagles got their insurance goal midway through the second half. Antonio Lewis passed the ball to Lamberto Gomez, who quickly returned the ball to Lewis. Lewis took a hard shot but was denied by McKenna. However, Rocham was there for the rebound.

“We needed that second goal,” Rocham said. “I was there waiting for the ball. I was just there for it.”

Brown, Bird and Kemble had shots in the second half, but Munoz was never really tested.

The Rams have been playing without their normal head coach, Jeff Harris, who suffered a head injury and has been out of school. Fennell said his team has been adjusting well in his absence.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with the coaching,” Fennell said. “They’ve been doing what I’ve asked them to do.”

Both teams begin the second half of conference play on Thursday. Havelock plays at South Central while West Craven travels to Jacksonville.


Kevin Travis can be reached at 252-635-5669 or at ktravis@freedomenc.com.

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