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Eagles Lose to Havelock on Ram's Senior Night

Varsity vs Havelock HS on 4/30/2012 6:00:00 PM
Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 by Adam THOMPSON, Sun Journal

Soccer: Rams top Eagles on Senior Night

Spink, Wickman, Bean each score twice



West Craven's Rachel Hall, right, plays the ball in front of Havelock's Ali Wickman during a Coastal 3A Conference match on Monday at Havelock High School.

 
 
Sun Journal

HAVELOCK— Nicole Spink, Nicolette Alston and Shairese Conway have all played four seasons of varsity soccer for the Havelock Rams.

Ali Hardin and Alecia Thompson added their contributions.

The Rams came away with a 9-0 win over visiting West Craven on Senior Night Monday evening at Havelock High.

“All of the seniors have impacted the program in a tremendous way,” said Havelock coach Jeffy Harris. “We decided to let them play the entire game. They had fun.”

Spink tallied two goals, including a header, and two assists, while Hardin notched a second-half goal.

“It was a fun game,” Spink said. “My crosses were on point today. I was nervous about taking a corner kick, but they finished. As for my goals, I looked for the goal and got it in there.”

The Rams (14-7, 7-6 Coastal) were slated to play West Craven in the regular-season finale on Thursday, but had to push the game up due to scheduling conflicts.

Havelock plays host to West Carteret Tuesday for third place in the Coastal Conference, and the third seed in next week’s playoffs.

“Tomorrow is a really big game for us,” Spink said. “A lot of us have friends on the other team. They are rivals, plus we need to win to get a better seed in the tournament.”

The Rams opened a 6-0 advantage at halftime over West Craven. The Eagles’ defense tightened up in the second half.

“The second half, I felt like they stepped it up a little more,” said West Craven coach Jana Dennis. “They were pressuring the ball and trying to improve.”

Junior Ali Wickman scored twice, as did junior Suzi Bean. Ashley Bickel and Lauren Seegel added goals for Havelock.

The Rams took 31 shots on goal, and West Craven goalkeeper Jennifer Games had 17 saves.

“Jen, we are real lucky to have her,” Dennis said. “She is a senior and she is going to be missed. She is a hard-worker. She never played a soccer game before this year. She’s been great.”

The Rams took 10 corner kicks, and many of the defenders got moved to offense.

“We just look to make ourselves better by making good passes, getting crosses off and finishing them,” Spink said. “We didn’t take them lighter than we would any other team.”

Havelock was without standout and its fastest player, Natalie Johnson, who is out for the rest of the season with an injury to her eye. Johnson, a sophomore, had 15 goals and 11 assists.

Johnson suffered her injury Thursday against Jacksonville.

The Rams will now be relying heavily on Wickman, who has a team-high 26 goals. Spink’s posted 12 goals, while Seegel has five.

“They lost a friend out on the field,” Harris said. “They have bonded a lot better. They know Natalie is a fantastic soccer player, so they are going to have to fill that void.”

While West Craven, who finishes the season against White Oak on Thursday, has won just one game, Dennis is encouraged by signs of her team’s progress.

Many of the Eagles’ players haven’t played soccer prior to this season, but Dennis said her players gained some valuable experience.

Senior forward Teajae Williams, with 23 career goals, holds the school record. Meredith Jones, Lauren Cox and J’maiya Wright have played key minutes in midfield, while defenders Ashley Schall, Nallely Gallardo and Ronkeia Lewis battled in the back.

“I just look for the small stuff, like good passing sequences and clearing the ball out,” Dennis said. “One of the things we continue to work on is covering each other. As the season has gone, we have come a long way. Step-by-step they have made improvements.”

With a No. 3 seed in the 3-A state playoffs, it would be the highest seeding for Havelock in eight seasons.

West Craven is looking to continue its progress for next season.

 

Adam Thompson can be reached at 252-635-5669 or at athompson@freedomenc.com. Follow Adam on Twitter @Adam_matic.

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