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NPC soccer: Wood, West wallop East

By Nick Bowton
Salisbury Post
GRANITE QUARRY ó East Rowan coach Eduel Atkins said he was mad after the first goal, angry after the second and furious after the third.
You can imagine how he felt by the end of the Mustangsí 6-0 loss to West Rowan on Monday night.
East (6-10, 6-9 NPC) didnít help itself with shaky defense and goalkeeping, but the Falcons (10-6, 10-5) didnít just catch a bunch of breaks against their county and conference rival. Christina Wood scored the first five goals, and West dominated from start to finish.
iWe did well moving the ball, and in this kind of game, that always helps out,î West coach Nick Brown said. iIíve been trying to get the girls away from that whole play the ball, play the ball, play the ball over the top. Now weíre knocking the ball around.
iI think we did put them on their heels a little bit right off the start, which is exactly what I told them ó we needed a quick start. The girls responded well and did that.î
The quick start included a shot on goal four minutes into the match, as freshman Brittany Gibbons set up Wood with a pass over the top of the defense. Wood couldnít convert that time, but she did score on a cross from Gibbons four minutes later.
West had established itself as the better team by that point, and Wood cemented momentum in the Falconsí favor with three more goals in a seven-minute span later in the first half.
She scored on a penalty kick, cleaned up a botched save in front of the net and converted another Gibbons assist ó this one on a quick throw-in ó for a 4-0 lead just 28 minutes into the match.
iItís frustrating,î Atkins said. iThat fourth goal, itís like apathy sets in. So we talked the entire halftime about where our desire was.î
Atkinsí Mustangs did allow fewer goals in the second half, but they never really threatened to score and just settled in on defense for the most part.
West, meanwhile, continued to move the ball well and maintain possession, and it got a fifth goal from Wood before someone else finally scored. Wood said she liked her last goal best, as she volleyed in a cross from Lacy Heglar.
After assisting on Woodís final goal, Heglar got one of her own ó not a bad game for someone who wasnít originally going to play after suffering a concussion Wednesday night. One of Westís best players, Heglar didnít play in the first half but started the second.
iShe kind of came to me and said, ëCoach, if you donít play me itís fine, but this is my last time Iíll probably ever play East Rowan, so if I could get a few minutes, Iíd like it,í î Brown said. iI managed to get her in, she got that goal ó which I was really happy about ó and then I managed to pull her out.
iIt was good. I told her not to head the ball, and she probably headed about six balls. She looked like sheís doing all right.î
So did Wood, who hadnít scored more than three goals in a game before last night.
iIt was amazing,î Wood said. iItís a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I wouldnít have made those goals if everyone hadnít made great passes.î

Contact Nick Bowton at 704-797-4256 or nbowton@salisburypost.com.

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