The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

March 22, 2013

Vikings lose for 1st time this season

Sports Correspondent

ROCKY MOUNT — ROCKY MOUNT – On a cold and windy day Thursday, the Tarboro Lady Vikings

system was thrown for a loop. The weather being a factor didn't help the cause either. Tarboro was playing without senior Julie Hayes. She went down with a knee injury earlier in the week and was unable to play so coach Leshaun Jenkins had to change things around, which turned out to be opposite of what he wanted.

He went back to an old defensive system that he ran last year to help counter on defense and it backfired.

The Nash Central Lady Bulldogs took advantage of the situation and shutout Tarboro 5-0 in non-conference action. The loss was the Vikings (4-1-1) first of the season.

"Today just wasn't a good day for soccer and we struggled with the conditions," Jenkins said. "Being in the situation we were in without Julie I had to dig deeper into my bench then I normally would."

Jenkins knew coming into the match when he changed the system, he was going to have players who wouldn't know how to counter with the quickly installed system. Jenkins didn't think the Bulldogs were better then his Vikings from what the score showed, but said they won the match.

Missing Hayes on the field showed, because she is the type of player who can take control of the match and make things happen on both ends of the field.

Jenkins rotated Chandler Harris and Katie King from offense to defense to try and mix it up, but that backfired as well. Harris took a shot to the stomach and had to be removed during the first half.

Coming into the match, Tarboro had outscored their opponents 34-1 and they were outshooting them by an average of 20 shots per match. That all changed in the match as well. Tarboro took only seven shots on goal and the Bulldogs counted that and took 28.

Tarboro goalie Courtney Perkins has been averaging about three saves per match, but she had her work cut out for her. She had 19 saves in the match.

"I am not going to take this loss personally," Jenkins said. "The conditions made it unbearable and the ball just floated through the air went it was kicked."

Jenkins think the loss will wake his team up and show that they can battle through any type of situation. He thinks it is going to be motivation for his players, because he has them in the state of mind that losing isn't an option.

"This will help us build character and motivate us," Jenkins said. "It is still some things that we need to work on to get better at so we will build off of this and go from there."