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Lady Vikes Fall To Western Alamance

May 15, 2011
Union Pines High School

By F.W. Manning II
The Pilot

Often times in playoff soccer, a match will hinge on a few key moments.

Such was the case Saturday in Cameron, as the Union Pines Lady Vikings lost 1-0 to Western Alamance in the second round of the 3A NCHSAA state playoffs.

Two key events early on in the round two postseason tilt would ultimately lead to Union Pines' undoing.

First Viking midfielder Catie Driver suffered an injury due to an incidental head butt. In the sixth minute of action, the freshman phenom was forced to exit the game. The reason was a deep three-inch long gash above her right forehead.

Eventually, Driver was taken to the hospital by an EMS crew and received 14 stitches. She would later return to Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium to cheer her teammates on from the sideline for the final 22 minutes of the game.

However, Driver's absence threw a monkey wrench in the usually decisive, dynamic and well-organized machine that is the Vikings attacking standard 4-4-2 and their attacking 3-4-3.

From there, the Vikings could never seem to get any sort of rhythm, control sustained possessions, nor keep the ball on the visiting Warriors side of the field for any prolonged period of time.

The second key event happened when a volley by a Western Player slipped past Union Pines’ keeper Cristina Morcom’s outstretched grasp before gently rolling into the net for a goal.

The score gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead with 23:10 left to play in the first. With the lead and Driver out, Western Alamance (17-4-2) sat back in a deep defensive pose with five to six backs, including utilizing a pair of permanent chasers on Union Pines two forwards for a good amount of time.

With the lead and a clear advantage of play in the midfield, Western played defensive soccer while still pressure on long balls up field and through possession based charges generated by space from the midfield.

A one-hour and fifteen-minute delay accompanied halftime as thunderstorms blew through Cameron.

Once play resumed it was more of the same. Western actually dictated the action for the opening 13 minutes of the second half sending three shots on goal and taking two corner kicks.

Late in the match Union Pines mounted a closing seven-minute charge out of its attacking 3-4-3 posture. The Vikes made a few nice runs at the keeper and got two shots on goal but never really had a quality look at tying the contest.

With the loss, the 2011 Cape Fear Valley conference champion Vikings saw a 19-game win streak snapped as they finish the season at 19-2.

Contact F.W. Manning II at frankwm2@gmail.com

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