Goldsboro improved its record to 4-0 this season after beating Spring Creek 4-3 on Thursday afternoon.
However, getting that fourth win was easier said than done.
In the first half, the Cougars wasted no time attacking the Gators’ defense. The Cougars scored three goals in 14 minutes.
In only the second minute of the game, the Cougars scored a goal to take a quick 1-0 lead.
Six minutes later, after a Spring Creek handball outside the box, Mills Hancock lined up to take the free-kick, and Hancock rifled the ball into the net to put the Cougars up 2-0.
Goldsboro took a 3-0 lead when Haley Phillips swiftly ran down the left side of the pitch and buried the ball into the net.
“I thought we were really prepared in the first half,” Goldsboro head coach Jorg Wagner said. “We were very good pressing the midfield and not allowing any long balls, and that took care of a lot the stuff that normally flys at us when we play teams like Spring Creek.”
But in the second half, the Gators mounted a comeback.
Early in the second half, after a Goldsboro foul inside the box, Taylor Smith lined up to take the penalty kick.
Smith put the ball home, and Spring Creek pulled within 3-1 less than two minutes into the second half.
In the 45th minute, Smith’s shot went off the post, but Leslie Reyes recovered the deflection and scored to cut Goldsboro’s lead down 3-2.
“When you play a high press like we do, it takes a toll,” Wagner said. “We allowed Spring Creek spaces, and when you give the players spaces like that, then they will be able to beat you,” Wagner said.
It looked like Spring Creek was on its way to tying the game, but in the 50th minute, Goldsboro scored a goal to go back up 4-2.
The Gators refused to give up, and in the 60th minute, Mairani Cervantes scored a goal to make it a one-goal game again.
But during the final 20 minutes of the game, Goldsboro managed to hold off Spring Creek, and the Gators were unable to tie the game, while Goldsboro remained undefeated.
“In the end, we were fortunate coming out of here,” Wagner said. “There were a couple of dicey situations, and Spring Creek can definitely create.”
Both squads are back in action on Monday. Goldsboro (4-0 overall) travels to Clinton (2-0), while Spring Creek (2-2) will travel to Midway (0-2).
Wagner said the Clinton game would be a good measuring stick for the young Cougars, who have only two seniors on the roster.
“I think we’re getting results. With all due respect to the teams we have played, we have not played Clinton or East Duplin,” Wagner said. “I think for being such a young with only two seniors, I’m quite pleased with how the season is going so far.”