By VAN HOLLAND
FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
WENDELL – After beating teams handily all season, the Tarboro Lady Vikings had the rolls reversed against them Wednesday in the first round of the 2-A NCHSAA state playoffs. The Corinth Holders Lady Pirates controlled the ball the entire match and had a fast paced offense that seemed to be unstoppable. They knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs by beating them 9-0 in only 43 minutes of action.
Tarboro coach Leshaun Jenkins said this was a skilled team that he thought they would've probably seen in the third round, but the Vikings luck wasn't that good. Tarboro had an unlucky draw at the Eastern Plains Conference meeting last week after they finished in a three way tie for first. Tarboro drew the third seed out of the conference and were forced to play the Pirates.
"We don't have control of the brackets and this just didn't work out in our favor," Jenkins said. "We were matched up against a very good team and I give them props, because they played great soccer today."
This was Tarboro's third time being in the playoffs and Jenkins felt like his team was nervous in the beginning and they were just unable to play catch up.
"Some of these girls have never played in the playoffs and that just comes with the territory," Jenkins said. "I thought as the game went on we got a little more comfortable in ourselves, but bottom line is...I don't have anything negative to say about our performance."
The Pirates had a free flowing offense and they were able to build off of careless Viking mistakes. It took the Pirates only five minutes to get on the scoreboard. In the next 14 minutes, the Pirates added four more goals to extend their lead to 5-0. They added two more goals before halftime and led 7-0. Within the first three minutes of the second half they punched in two quick goals to end the match.
"I give them lots of credit because they have girls who know the game and know how to play it," Jenkins said. "They are a very good team and I will keep my eye on them throughout the playoffs and I wish them luck."
Tarboro goalie Courtney Perkins had 10 shutouts coming into the playoffs, but she had her hands full Wednesday and saw things she hasn't had to face before. Perkins finished with 12 saves off of 30 Corinth Holders' shots.
After giving up the first couple of goals, Jenkins called Perkins to the sidelines and told her not to play so deep in the penalty box. He wanted her to come out further onto the field so she could shorten the angles for the Pirates to take shots.
It didn't matter though, because the Pirates were ripping shots from 20 and 30 yards out. They also used their skilled passing game to get around Tarboro's defense to score goals. Out of their nine goals, the Pirates had five players assist on six of them. Felica Hewiit was the dominate threat for the Pirates. She scored three goals and had an assist.
Tarboro couldn't any offensive flow and only took five shots on goal. That was the difference, because they have been averaging 20 plus shot attempts per game.
"With all of their opportunities it took us out of our counter attack," Jenkins said. "Our offense isn't use to starting our system from midfield. We are use to counter attacking our opponents and with them being as aggressive as they were then that hurt our offensive system."
Jenkins was pleased with the way his team played overall this season and said they have nothing to hang their the heads about, because they fought the entire year and have built Tarboro women's soccer.
"I'm just more motivated then ever to continue to build this program," Jenkins said. "I told them that our returners have to find a way to get better and we can be on the other end of the stick next time."
The NCHSAA implemented a rule this year that if a team is up by nine goals during any point of the match after one half of action then the match is to be stopped and called a complete match.
This was the first time this year that Tarboro had been lost by that rule. They have beat teams seven times by the rule.