Thursday, November 5, 2009

Soccer: East Lincoln moves on to second round

Coach Jason Dragoon will keep his “Hulk Hogan handlebar” mustache for at least a few more days.

The East Lincoln men’s soccer coach made a promise to his players after they won the conference that he would grow out his facial hair. He’s not going to shave it until the season is over.

The Mustangs ensured that the coach wouldn’t pull out the razor last night with a 2-0 win over Bandys in the first round of the NCHSAA 2A state tournament.

The two goals, the first by Justin Williams and the second by Rolando Miranda, came within two minutes of each other early in the first half.

East Lincoln (17-6-1, 9-1) continued to attack the entire game, but could never convert and put the game out of reach.

“Finishing has been good all year,” said Dragoon. He said it was like his players weren't being greedy enough, passing instead of attacking and shooting.

The Mustangs have outscored their opponent 64-36 this year and have eight shutouts. Keeper Austin Putnam recorded the shutout against Bandys (10-9-3).

Dragoon credited the lack of scoring to first-round nerves. It’s no surprise that the Mustangs were nervous. Despite going 15-4 in the regular season last year, they lost in the first round of the state tournament to East Davidson, who they will play in the second round on Saturday.

“East Davidson is a problem for us,” said Dragoon. “It’s like they’ve got our number.”

Regardless of the history between the two teams, Dragoon is confident that his Mustangs will play will in the next game. His team has been playing very well, winning 12 of their last 13 games.

“We feel comfortable with what we have,” he said. “This group is all about each other.”

-- Corey Inscoe