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Eagles Fall to Vikings on Pitch

Varsity vs D H Conley HS on 10/11/2011 6:00:00 PM
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011 by Kevin Travis, New Bern Sun Journal

Eagles fall to Vikings on pitch

Missed penalty kick hurts West Craven

Sun Journal

West Craven had its opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize. Nate Evans did capitalize for the D.H. Conley Vikings, scoring the game’s lone goal in Tuesday’s Coastal Conference soccer match.

Evans blasted in the ball from 18 yards out, and West Craven goalkeeper Jesus Munoz couldn’t quite get his hands on it. The score, coming with 20 minutes, 30 seconds left to play in the game, lifted the Vikings (5-5-3, 4-3-2) to the 1-0 win over the Eagles (7-5-1, 4-5-0).

“Soccer is a weird sport,” West Craven coach Aaron Steele said. “You give them two chances all night long, and they capitalize on one.”

The Eagles had a chance to tie the game with 15:40 remaining. However, senior Antonio Lewis was denied by Viking keeper Zac Locklear on a penalty kick. It was the third missed penalty kick of the season for the Eagles.

“I don’t know what our (penalty kick) problem has been this year,” Steele said. “We’ll try our best to solve it.”

Lewis had another shot stopped by Locklear (eight saves) at the 19:20 mark. The West Craven senior had another shot at the 6:30 mark, but his chance at the equalizer, a free kick, sailed over the net.

Lamberto Gomez was also high on a free kick in the first half.

 “We missed chances out front with the ball trickling across,” Steele said. “Sometimes it’s a game of inches. You try to understand that as a coach in soccer. It’s just one of those things that happens.”

The Vikings didn’t have many scoring opportunities. Desmonde Downing did make a couple deep runs, and got off a couple shots, but Munoz (five saves) was able to deny a handful of them.

Heading into the game, West Craven was tied with West Carteret (5-8, 4-4-0) for third place in the conference standings. The Eagles play host to the Patriots on Thursday.

Jacksonville (12-3-0, 8-0-0) leads the conference by three games over White Oak (9-6-1, 5-3-0). West Craven, West Carteret, Conley and South Central (7-5-3, 3-3-2) were all bunched together. The top five teams qualify for the playoffs.

“It’s a weird conference,” Steele said. “It’s the tightest it’s been since I’ve been coaching out here.”


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

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