Pinecrest Patriots

Game 2

#14 Pinecrest vs
#6 Rocky Mount
Monday, August 27th, 2007
John Williams Field, Southern Pines, NC
Rocky Mount Gryphons
Goals: Coby Kavanaugh, Matt Carriker (PC)
Assists: None
Pinecrest          1    1  -  2
Rocky Mount     0    0  -  0

By Dean Parziale, Special to The Pilot, Appeared Wednesday, August 29th, 2007
     The Pinecrest boys' soccer team kept to its winning ways with a 2-0 victory over the visiting Rocky Mount High School Gryphons Monday night at the John Williams Athletic Complex.
     The match, played on the first day that students returned to school, brought out the vocal Patriot super fans, who helped root the home side over the sixth-ranked in 3-A guests. Coach Larry Martin's Pinecrest side improved to 2-0, and are ranked 14th in this week's 4-A state rankings.
     Martin pointed out the different styles the two teams brought to the contest.
     "(The game had) very contrasting teams," he said. "They like to pack four or five or more on the back line and counter by sending long balls down the middle. It gave us room in the middle of the field to control the ball but we had difficulty capitalizing. I did think we had more scoring opportunities than the score line shows."
     The Patriots would bookend their two goals, with the first coming four minutes into the contest and the final coming two minutes from the end.
     The buildup to the first goal was through a series of free kicks. From midfield, junior Eric Parziale lofting one to senior Tyler Dawson just outside the visitors' penalty area, where he was tripped up.
     Senior Coby Kavanaugh would step up to the 22-yard free kick, his rocket clearing the Gryphons' wall of defenders and the outstretched keepers gloves, nicking the bottom of the crossbar and settling into goal for the early 1-0 lead.
     The teams would spend the remainder of the first half looking for ways to break down each other's defenses. The Patriots' possession midfield game was not able to produce a quality chance, and the half ending with the slim home advantage.
     The second half began with two quick corner kicks being won by the visitors, with sophomore defender Sam Ivey alert to steer a rebound shot just wide of net on the second.
     Play turned physical as the players wore down, with yellow cards being handed out to both teams.
     Pinecrest would see good second-half scoring opportunities from sophomores Thomas Goulden, Max Brenner and Aaron Stroker pushed aside by the Gryphon net minder, while Kavanaugh tested the keeper twice on short-range free kicks. Finally, in the 78th minute, junior Matt Carriker would pick up a rebound and end the affair with a darting knuckleball from 23 yards out that eluded the diving keeper's effort.
     Pinecrest goalkeeper Brad McKeever would have to come up big for the home side on a couple of occasions, as the long balls from the backs to the Gryphons' fleet attackers down the middle produced two clear breaks on goal, with McKeever bravely smothering both chances and earning his second straight clean sheet.
     Things don't get any easier for the young Patriots as they travel to Wilmington Friday night to face traditional soccer powerhouse Hoggard High School. The Vikings eliminated Pinecrest from postseason play last year.
     "Maybe we can surprise them," Martin said of the return engagement with Hoggard.
     The Patriot junior varsity would also record a 2-0 victory over the visiting Gryphons.
     New arrivals to the Sandhills, Preston Foote and Jack Talton, scored the goals for Pinecrest, while Michael Guarente and Dana Parziale teamed up for the shutout in net.

Season:   Goals Scored: 5    Goals Allowed: 0     Overall Record: 2-0-0    Conference Record: 0-0-0

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