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Warriors slip at Rocky Mount
April 20, 2010Rocky Mount High School
ROCKY MOUNT -- For a half, Hunt appeared like it might be the better varsity girls soccer team on the field Monday at Rocky Mount. For the other half, Rocky Mount proved it was.
The Gryphons scored two goals in quick succession and later added a third to cap a dominant second half and hand the Warriors a disappointing 3-0 loss in a 3-A Big East Conference match.
"We just had a hard time in the second half," Hunt coach Trent Dorough said. "We weren't winning balls. It was a good game, but it didn't go our way. (Rocky Mount) played good. We played pretty good. We weren't our best, but they'll see us again."
The loss for Hunt follows a turbulent week in which Fike took the conference lead by beating Hunt only to lose it three days later and drop back into a three-way tie with the Warriors and Gryphons.
So, Monday was an opportunity for either team to take a giant stride toward winning the conference championship -- a chance the Warriors (8-4-2, 5-2) felt like they let slip through their fingers.
"We really wanted it, but we just didn't execute when we needed to," junior captain Alex Hall said. "We had a lot of good passing, but our downfall was not winning the ball out of the air. ...
"It's a hard loss because they're one of our biggest rivals and we really wanted to take the driver's seat. But now we have to work even harder to beat Fike and hopefully see (Rocky Mount) again in the tournament."
Rocky Mount (13-1-1, 5-1) now has the chance to grab firm control of first Wednesday when it travels to Fike after ending the Golden Demons' 77-game conference winning streak 2-1 Friday.
"After the loss (earlier to Hunt in overtime), I just kept telling the girls, let it fuel you," coach Drew Nick said. "Remember it and apply it to the field. Unfortunately, we didn't apply it until the second half.
"In the first half, (Hunt) was winning the 50/50 balls, and the halftime speech from the coaches was that they were aggressive team, they were pushing us around, and we needed to change now."
After the Warriors pressured in the first half but went into halftime tied 0-0, the Gryphons dominated the second, pummeling the goal while holding Hunt without a shot for the first 13 1/2 minutes.
Rocky Mount, which finished with a 12-2 shot advantage in the second half, scored two quick goals midway through the half to take the lead and deflate the Warriors.
Sydney Browder chipped a loose ball past oncoming goalkeeper Lizzie Madden with 21:09 left, and Kasey Cooke headed in a corner kick from Caroline Bell with 18:31 left for a quick 2-0 Rocky Mount lead.
"Instead of kicking it forward, we had to play possession and play a good passing game," Nick said. "The girls came together collectively, put a nice second half together and ended up netting three goals, which was nice."
Allison Raper added a goal off an assist by Brittany Kropp with 4:55 left, as the Gryphons controlled possession off the 50/50 balls in the air and severely limited the Warriors' second-half offensive chances.
"I guess they just came out and wanted it more," Hall said. "You could definitely tell they got a talking to at halftime, because we could hear it. But we had a lot of people who just didn't communicate well.
"We needed to get that going, and it really hurt us when we were trying to get it up and into the offensive third. We just couldn't keep the ball on our feet."
Madden made 10 saves in goal on 21 shots, while Holly Fryar made three on eight shots for Rocky Mount.
Hunt plays again Wednesday at home against Southern Nash.