Lady Vikes, Gators win rivalry matches|[12/22/2005]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 22, 2005

Warren Central and Vicksburg always seem to bring out the best in each other.

On Wednesday, for the first time in a while, Warren Central got the best of Vicksburg.

Kristine Fischenich was credited for a goal that deflected off at least one teammate and one VHS player midway through the second half, and WC’s defense withstood several late scoring opportunities by the Missy Gators to preserve a 1-0 victory.

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It was only the third win for the Lady Vikes in 21 tries against their crosstown rivals. Vicksburg (7-7, 0-2 Division 3-5A) has won 16 of those meetings, and the teams tied twice.

&#8220That was one of our goals, because for the last few years we’ve had a little trouble with them. It feels good to get that monkey off our back and come out with a win,” WC coach Kristin Gough said.

Over the last few years, the Missy Gators and Lady Vikes have played nothing but close games when they meet, and Wednesday’s game was no exception.

It was the fifth straight game between the two that either ended in a tie or was decided by one goal.

The schools will tangle again on Jan. 24 at VHS.

&#8220Everyone from both teams puts forth a hundred percent, and every time it’s up in the air because everyone is trying their hardest,” Fischenich said.

Each team had a few scoring opportunities, but it took a fluke goal for the Lady Vikes (9-2, 2-0) to break through. After a scoreless first half, a Warren Central shot hit the crossbar about 15 minutes into the second half and Vicksburg’s Diari Gilliam was stopped by WC keeper Molly Beth Jourdan on a breakaway 30 seconds later.

A minute after that, the ball ended up in a crowd in front of the Vicksburg net.

Fischenich tipped it toward the goal, and it hit off of a Missy Gator as it crossed the goal line to give the Lady Vikes a 1-0 lead.

Vicksburg couldn’t mount any sustained offensive pressure until the closing minutes, when it misfired on several scoring chances.

&#8220We couldn’t capitalize on what few opportunities we had. We didn’t have many,” Vicksburg coach Kevin Manton said. &#8220I told them they didn’t have anything to be ashamed of. I thought we played well. We just came up short. That’s the way it goes.”

(B) Vicksburg 3, WC 0

It might be too soon to say the tide of the Vicksburg-Warren Central rivalry has turned. For now, though, Vicksburg can at least celebrate a winning streak in the series.

Michael Cooper scored a goal in the first half and assisted on two others in the second, and freshman Bowen Woodson earned the shutout in goal with a string of strong plays, leading the Gators (8-4-1, 1-1) to a rout of WC (4-6, 1-1). Colton Hanley also had an assist for the Gators, while Ryan Ferrington and Clinton Collins each scored a goal.

It was the second straight time Vicksburg has beaten its archrival after winning just three games total in the series in the previous nine years. Both of the Gators’ recent wins have come at Viking Stadium.

&#8220I wouldn’t say we’re the best team, but tonight we were the better team,” said Vicksburg coach Jason Bennett, whose squad was the Class 5A runner-up last season.

Warren Central was thwarted by a series of close calls that didn’t fall its way.

Early in the first half, a Viking shot hit the crossbar. Early in the second, Eric Richards missed wide on a breakaway – one of three missed shots by the Vikings in the first five minutes of the second half.

Later in the half, Heath Carroll stepped on the ball as he tried to pass to Richards on a two-on-one breakaway.

&#8220We didn’t finish,” said WC coach Jay Harrison, whose team was outshot just 13-10 in the game. &#8220I’m not angry. 3-0 is not good, but they finished. They didn’t have any more chances than we did. It was a very even ballgame. We had our chances in the first and the second and we didn’t do what we had to do to put them in the net.”