Cougar’s stomping ground

Posted on October 10, 2011

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On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the Croatan Boys’ Soccer team took on a huge rival, the Swansboro Pirates. The boys were looking for revenge during this match after their loss of 1-0 the last time they played the Pirates.

Last week was an important week for the Cougars. First, they tied Richlands, which made their record 5-6-3 overall and 2-4-1 in the conference.

When Paul Slater, the Croatan coach, was asked about the outcome of the last time they played Swansboro, he said, “We lost 1-0, but we played well. We did a good job playing together with a common purpose and that was important.” During practice before last week’s Swansboro game, the boys worked hard to prepare, according to Coach Slater.

The night of the big game, the Cougars brought their energy from the Richlands game. Almost halfway into the first half,  Croatan’s Garrett Bridgewater took the ball down the offensive left sideline and sent the ball across the field, where his forward, Austin Long, connected with the cross and sent the ball to the back of the net.

The first goal was only the beginning of Croatan’s march towards victory. Shortly after Long’s goal, Croatan midfielder Emil Stanisic’s powerful shot from long range easily found the back of the net. At 2-0 in the first half, Swansboro just could not seem to counter the Croatan attack. To add insult to injury, Stanisic scored again before halftime, making the halftime score 3-0.

“Leading Swansboro 3-0 at the half was crazy. Even though we beat them last season, leading by 3 at the half felt so great,” said Croatan’s captain, Austin Long.

After a discouraging first half, the Pirates started the second half aggressively. Despite several attacks by the Swansboro offense, Croatan goalie, Justin Merrell, was able to prevent any goals.

Croatan’s Jordan Watson, normally the left-back defender, had been moved to the midfield as an experiment in the Richlands game. Playing this position again in the Swansboro game, Watson was able to score from a long distance, which put the score at 4-0.

Swansboro fought hard throughout the entire match, but was never able to answer any of Croatan’s goals. With not much time left in the second half, Bridgewater scored, but was injured during the play.

With the win over Swansboro, Croatan’s record improved to 6-6-3 overall and 3-4-1 in the conference. “We put everything we had onto the field tonight and I’m so happy with how we played. This was a huge win for us and hopefully we will play the same way against our next conference opponent, Clinton,” said Long after the game.

The Cougars will face Clinton at home on Monday, October 10th

Reported by Kelsey Hernandez

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Posted in: Sports