Young Lady Bears suffer setback

Published 2:18 pm Friday, March 25, 2011

AHOSKIE – The baby steps are beginning to add up.

And soon too, will the wins.

Hertford County High’s girls soccer team dropped a 6-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference match at home Wednesday to Northeastern High School.  It was the Lady Bears’ fourth loss and left them winless on the season.

Northeastern scored four goals in the second half, but none came before the 31st minute of play; a credit to the young Lady Bears’ defense.  They added two more in the second half for their second win of the year against four losses.

The Lady Eagles outshot Hertford County 18-to-four with junior Bears goal-keeper Alexus Young stopping four shots.

Meanwhile, Hertford County had several scoring opportunities, including one breakaway.  They were inches from scoring with one shot hitting the post and one hitting the cross bar while two others sailed wide.

“We have a lot of good kids out here this year,” said Bears coach Michael Kinkead. “It’s a good core group and we’ve got a lot of positive attitudes on the team which is something that really helps our development.”

Senior striker Stephanie Cuadra went out with an injury earlier in the season, as did several other Hertford County players. If not for the attrition rate for his squad, Kinkead feels their progress might be farther along.

“Today was a rough loss in terms of score,” he added, “but in terms of effort, I’m proud of what they did. I can’t knock them for what they’re doing because they are getting better every game.”

It took both teams about a dozen minutes to get going in the first half.  While Rena Stephenson of Northeastern was credited with the Lady Eagles’ first goal in the 31st minute, the ball appeared to bounce off the leg of a Hertford County player for an ‘own goal’ that made it 1-0.

But the Bears came back.

Hertford County’s Lerinda Fennell took a cross from Rakita Wilder and sent it just beyond the far post in the 34th minute, missing a great opportunity to get the Bears on the scoreboard.

Northeastern got two more goals – including another own-goal – within a four minute period late in the half to make it, 3-0. Aaliyah Parker got the Bears’ next best chance at getting through, but her shot was stopped by Eagles keeper Kayla Twiford.

One final Northeastern goal in the 41st minute made it 4-0 for the visitors at halftime.

Hertford County came out more aggressive in the second half, getting off two shots before Northeastern added another goal in the 47th minute. The Eagles continued to rack up shots and one more tickled the twine for a six-goal advantage and the win.

“We lacked some intensity in the first half,” said Northeastern coach Waylon Joyner, “but I give Hertford County credit because they kept plugging away and it was a pretty aggressive game.

“When everybody’s got the opportunity to win,” he added, “it sure makes for a more fun game.”

“We will get a ‘W’ this year,” vowed Kinkead, “and when we do it will be something because it’ll be (the school’s) first one in several years.”