Hawks fall in OT

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 3, 2007

MURFREESBORO – In the old Western shootouts it always came down to which gunslinger had the most bullets left, no matter how many or few bullets were used. 

Despite being outshot in their men’s soccer home opener nearly six-to-one, Chowan used their shots to their best effect, but it still couldn’t prevent the Hawks from falling to visiting Coker College, 3-2 in double-overtime.

As a crowd of nearly 200 watched both the men and women at home in a dual match, the women triumphed over Coker with a 2-0 shutout, but the men fell by a single goal.

&uot;They outplayed us,&uot; said second-year coach Ken Miller, &uot;especially in the second half.  They had 41 shots and we had seven. We had one shot generate one opportunity in the last 60 minutes.  We’ve gotta play 90 minutes.&uot;

The Hawks made their opportunities count in the first 40 minutes of the contest. 

On a free kick, freshman Alex Kinion zipped a direct free kick over the head of Cobras goal-keeper, Ryan Lewis, into the back of the net for a 1-0 Chowan lead at the 13:07 mark of the first half. That score was only the Hawks’ second shot of the half, as earlier in the contest Chinedu Iwuora’s floater went just wide of the goal.

Coker came back with the equalizer as the Cobras’ Beeze Chastain beat a defender on the right side and found streaking teammate, Matthew Jarrett, with a great pass near the post and with a twisting move his shot found the net and the contest was tied, 1-1.

Chowan took its second lead of the day near the 40th minute when Isidro Lopez dazzled his defender with some great footwork and connected with teammate, Ali Abdi, who beat keeper Lewis and rattled in a shot for a 2-1 Chowan lead.

It was Abdi’s fourth goal of the year which leads the Hawks in scoring for the season. The Hawks remained up by a goal into halftime.

In the second half, Chowan seemed a bit tentative as Coker became the aggressor in the match, picking up a pair of yellow card warnings along the way for the Cobras’ physical play.

Then at the 65th minute, the Hawks were slow in clearing a shot from near the box and paid for their mental error. Coker’s Mike Crook swiped a goal near the box, then took on goalie, sophomore Josh Cenci, who had been brilliant in goal all afternoon turning back shot after shot; but Crook clearly beat him on this attempt and banged one past his outstretched frame for a 2-2 tie. 

Then for the rest of regulation and through the first 10 minutes of overtime into the final nine-plus minutes of the second extra period Coker came up short thanks to brilliant defending by the Hawks.

The best effort coming when Coker had a penalty kick and the ball sailed left of the goal. Twice more Coker had open-net shots that sailed either high or wide, and it looked as if the two teams would have to settle for a tie.

But with just 48 seconds left in the second overtime, and a crowd in both blue and home-white jerseys in front of the net, Matthew Jarrett saw Cenci turn away one of his attempts, but the ball rebounded to Don Jackson who used his swift right foot to get the ball to tickle the twine, and Coker came away with the 3-2 win.

&uot;I think we would’ve been sneaking out of here with a win or a tie,&uot; said Miller, &uot;and I don’t think that’s fair for the way we played. I told the players at halftime that we have to work on the things that we need to do to get better, and I said we can’t just give them the game and be complacent.  It’s not going to change overnight and other teams aren’t going to change it for us.&uot;

&uot;I believe in fate, karma – whatever you want to say – that it (the final score) is a fair result and we just have to live with it,” he added.

 Despite the loss, Cenci, who played the entire match including overtimes was fabulous in defense as he stopped 14 shots, several of them directly in front of the box, and he played in goal for the entire

The loss dropped the Hawks to 1-3 on the season.  They’re back in action at home on Wednesday when they host Guilford College with a 4 p.m. kickoff.