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Prep Soccer: East Davidson upsets Salisbury in second round

By David Shaw
Salisbury Post
Just like that, the music stopped for Salisbury’s girls soccer team Saturday.
After racing through their conference season, the Hornets were handed their walking papers ó and a season-ending 2-0 loss to East Davidson in the second round of the 2A playoffs.
“I don’t blame anybody but the people in white and the Salisbury coaching staff,” coach Matt Parrish said at Ludwig Stadium, where SHS (15-3-1) yielded two goals within three minutes late in the first half. “I don’t know if we were over-confident or assuming we’d win. But it’s almost as if we were waiting for something bad to happen ó and it did.”
That’s what had Parrish and assistant coach Tom Sexton scratching their heads. Salisbury had beaten East (10-9) 6-1 and 6-2 scores en route to the CCC title. Last night both teams wore different faces.
“To me, this was a game that could have gone either way,” Golden Eagles coach Jeff Church said. “Salisbury’s a tough team and certainly capable of taking it to us. Tonight we won a lot of the 50-50s and didn’t really let them play their game.”
The guests received first-half goals from all-conference senior Dee Lanier (in the 31st minute) and junior Emily Nagle (34th).
“There are no words,” Salisbury senior Jamie Dagenhart said after playing her final match. “You think about so much that you could have done or should have done. But right now you can’t do anything about it.”
In Parrish’s words, the Hornets were flat in the opening 15 minutes.
There were about 26 minutes remaining in the half when Salisbury forward Karen Presnell found herself advancing the ball deep along the left sideline. She was tightly defended by East’s Ashley McGee and wound up on the turf, though no foul was called. Parrish later indicated he wasn’t satisfied with the referee’s explanation.
“When you have a step on a girl like that and out of nowhere Karen goes down, something has to be called,” he said. “When the referee says she tripped over her own feet, I have a hard time swallowing that.”
East Davidson finally broke a scoreless tie late in the first half, when the ball ricocheted to Lanier ó the second-leading scorer in East Davidson history ó after a scrum 18 yards from the goal. Lanier settled it, made a couple of touches and pumped a shot past freshman keeper Sierra Davis with 8:18 on the clock.
“Our coach said to watch No. 11 (Lanier) because she’s a threat,” said senior Lindsey Davis, Sierra’s sister. “The other two times we did an amazing job shutting her down. That time we left her open.”
Moments later it was 2-0, courtesy of Nagle’s first varsity goal. She found an opening on the left side and curled a 25-yard banana kick to the near post that skipped under Salisbury’s outstretched keeper.
Salisbury spent the second half playing catch-up ó but never did. The Hornets pounded the East end with shots, only to be thwarted by senior keeper Megan Byerly. Dagenhart in particular had several scoring chances but never finished.
“The last seven minutes we had 10 players attacking,” Parrish said. “But their keeper never panicked and stayed composed. We had several shots from inside the box and she was always able to hawk them down. Give her credit. In the previous games with them we were able to put those balls away.”
Now the Hornets can put all of their balls away.
“It hurts real bad,” Lindsey Davis said. “We were supposed to go all the way. We never thought it would end here.”n
Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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