Lady patriots fall short.

October 29, 2014

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

Even though his team had beaten USC-Salkehatchie twice this season, Patrick Henry Community College women’s soccer coach Larry Wylie said he was concerned about Tuesday’s NJCAA Region X tournament quarterfinal with the Indians.

He couldn’t have been more right.Salkehatchie scored the game’s only goal in the 70th minute, ending the Patriots’ season sooner than anticipated at the Smith River Sports Complex. Wylie denied the notion that his team may have been looking ahead to Saturday’s semifinals after beating the Indians 7-0 at home on Sept. 27.From the moment the Indians dropped back into a defensive shell, Wylie figured it would be a difficult night for his offense to breakdown the Salkehatchie defense.“They did a great job of staying disciplined and keeping numbers back. Most of our goals have come when we’ve stretched teams out and get in transition,” he said. “We had one, maybe two of those opportunities (tonight) and couldn’t take advantage.”The roles were reversed in Tuesday’s quarterfinal compared to last season’s matchup in South Carolina, and so was the result. PHCC scored a 69th minute goal last season with fewer shots and possession, beating Salkehatchie for its first ever playoff victory.There seemed to be no sense of urgency at the start of the second half Tuesday after the Patriots went to the locker room tied 0-0 at the half. Even the opening 10 minutes of the match looked lethargic for the home side as there seemed to be little intensity. Wylie said he could sense his team lacked energy and was also alarmed by the lack of movement by his forwards looking to open up the Indians’ defense.The main targets of Larissa Ayo and Monica Diaz did not show the kind of movement PHCC needed in order to effectively break down the Salkehatchie defense, Wylie said. While they maintained a patient possession oriented attack, he said he should have switched up his offensive tactics the longer the match remained scoreless.“What concerned me was that we looked very stagnant. We didn’t show any movement off the ball,” Wylie said. “When a team packs it in like that and you don’t have movement off the ball, or making runs behind defenders, it makes it difficult to crack (the net). We also didn’t convert our chances.”Salkehatchie head coach Bill Glass said both teams played hard and didn’t give up many quality chances. The only difference was Salkehatchie made the most of one of its three shots on goal. PHCC’s defense got caught pushing up a little too high and was stretched in the back on a lofted ball over the top by the Indians’ Balbina Ramos. Dina Stagg was able to slip behind the defense and chipped a shot over Patriots keeper Taylor Horner and inside the near post for the game-winner.“We struggled to score goals this season and we had to work for 70 minutes to get that one (tonight),” Glass said. “It wasn’t a clinical buildup or finish but it came because we started getting more pressure on the ball. Pressure can ultimately lead to a goal.”It wasn’t until the goal that PHCC started to pressure more in hopes of leveling the match before the end of regulation. At halftime, Wylie told his team would need to score two or three goals to win while Salkehatchie would need just one. It wasn’t because he thought his team couldn’t score, but more of the fact that Salkehatchie’s disciplined structure in the back was tough to break down.“We have a zone defensive scheme that is a little complicated but we’ve gotten better with it throughout the year. The idea is to make sure there is always another defender to beat,” Glass said. “Where it becomes difficult is when a team likes to get it out wide like (PHCC) did. But every time they tried to get wide we would have a few layers to beat in the box.”Alba Cruz had a good chance at putting the Patriots on the board in the 41st minute when her open look from in front of the penalty marker was shot right at the keeper. Ayo then was sent through up the middle in the 56th minute but had her shot saved by Destinee Lanier, diving to her left.PHCC led 13-3 in shots. It finished the season at 10-9