Cards outlast Pack

Published 10:06 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

Washington’s Erica Alligood (10) battles a Jacksonville player for the ball during the Pam Pack’s 6-2 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday at Washington High School. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Though it’s still early in the season the Washington soccer team has already had three games where it’s scored eight or more goals, but on Thursday the Pam Pack offense had trouble finding the back of the net against a Jacksonville team that is widely regarded as one of the best 3-A clubs in the state.
Washington gave the defending Coastal Conference champs a run for their money in the first half, but ran out if steam in the second stanza as it fell 6-2.
For Washington coach Ed Rodriguez and his young club, Thursday’s game marked their third contest of the week, and despite the outcome, the first-year skipper was happy with the way his players battled.
“I liked way we possessed the ball. We had a lot of possessions on their side of the field,” Rodriguez said. “Our defense, for the most part, I was very happy with. We have two freshmen (starting) on our defense and a freshman goalie so I was very happy. We’re heading in the right direction. I think with the way we played most of the game, it gives me a good feeling.”
The Pam Pack (4-2, 2-1) got off to a good start as sophomore Alana Jefferson was able to race past the Jacksonville defense to put her team up 1-0 early in the first half.
“We sent the ball to the middle and then we kicked it to the outside and Alana was able to beat the defender with her speed and put it on the far post,” Rodriguez said.
The Cardinals retaliated with three unanswered goals, but fellow sophomore Christian Heggie cut the deficit to 3-2 by scoring the final goal of the first half by firing a left-footed rocket past the Cards’ keeper.
“The ball was sent to her on the right side and she fought off two defenders and put the ball ahead of her and turned with her left foot and put it in,” Rodriguez said.
In the second half Washington, whose roster features only three seniors in Hannah Sandy, Nikki Woolard and Brigette Thomas, could not keep pace with Jacksonville as the Cards tacked on three goals in a nine-minute span to pull ahead of the Pack for good.
“I think that they were a little deeper and they just kept making runs that eventually got through,” Rodriguez said. “It was our third game of the week and I think maybe we were a little tired.”
Despite the fatigue, Rodriguez said his team executed well in some critical aspects of the game.
“I think we did a good job of passing,” Rodriguez said. “Our midfield play was able to get some pressure on the ball. That’s some of the things I’m really trying to work this year is our passing and putting more midfield pressure on the ball so we can keep possession of the ball.”
The Pack will resume action again on Monday when it hosts Edenton.