Green Wave fall behind early, but recover in playoffs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; That deafening sound you’re hearing this morning while you cram a Pop-Tart down your gullet is not another one of Democrat presidential hopeful Howard Dean’s maniacal chants.

The loud noise is Cathedral soccer players, coaches and fans breathing a huge sigh of relief, as the Green Wave found themselves trailing for 37 minutes of the first half Tuesday at D’Evereux Stadium.

Division 6 runner-up Richland got a header from Trey Britt for the game’s first goal, before Cathedral responded with five unanswered for the 5-2 defeat of the Rangers.

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The win puts the Green Wave (12-2-3) into the second round Saturday against St. Andrew’s, who was a 4-1 winner over Mercy Cross Tuesday.

The Green Wave will hit the road with the time not set as of today.

&uot;We have some trouble with our standstill,&uot; said senior Wyler Murray, who scored his fifth and sixth goals of the year in the win. &uot;I don’t know what was up, but the whole team got put on our heels. The defense finally woke up and played strong.&uot;

After trailing for 37 minutes, 32 seconds, Murray broke the ice for Cathedral when he took a pass from Corey Brock and fired into the back of the net.

Brock had his throw-in kicked right back at him, where the junior punched it across to Murray at the ‘D.’

From about 25 yards out, Murray ripped a shot past a diving Jeremy Weems, the Rangers keeper.

&uot;We didn’t have the type of teamwork like we’ve had the last few games,&uot; Green Wave head coach Rick Freeman said. &uot;I know they got surprised real early.

&uot;It woke them up. We gotta turn the heat up&uot; to advance in the playoffs.

Blase Gaude followed Murray’s score up approximately a minute later, with 1:28 left in the half, with his sixth goal of the season.

Gaude took a long throw-in from Murray, raced past defenders in the box, had it knocked away momentarily before recovering and sending a beautiful, high-arching parabola into the far, top corner of the net.

&uot;Coach has been on me all season on doing a better job at playing the long ball,&uot; the junior forward said. &uot;I’ve been waiting on one like that all season. They had a few slits in the middle and we took advantage.&uot;

The Rangers stunned the cold, partisan crowd with the opening goal less than six minutes into the game.

Similar to Murray’s first goal, Drew Fletcher’s throw-in was deflected back to him and he lined a pass into the box where Trey Britt headed it over a leaping Thomas Ater to take a 1-0 lead with 34:48 remaining.

&uot;Trey is a great player for us. We played hard and held the lead on a real good team in the first half,&uot; said Scott Rimes, who was filling in for head coach Burell Leach, who was coaching the Lady Rangers in their first round game at home against Wesson. &uot;But I think we were kind of shell-shocked. We came back out and started playing real flat.&uot;

Britt was obviously the most talented of the Richland bunch, attacking every time he got a foot on the ball and doing a magnificent job to race balls down or keep them inbounds with a curving kick.

If those in the stands were not frozen already due to the temperature, the quick goal from Britt was sure to finish the job.

&uot;They got that first goal, and we were like, ‘What’s happening?’&uot; Gaude said. &uot;You can usually tell a lot about a team by the way they play from the beginning.&uot;

However, the Rangers &045; perhaps, playing a bit over their heads &045; did not maintain the tempo, as hard as they tried by dropping back everybody on defense with the early advantage.

The goals from Murray and Gaude gave the Greenies the upper hand heading into the break and two quick goals in the first eight minutes of the second half had Cathedral smelling blood.

Nick Anderson made it 3-1 with his 24th goal of the season when he took a lead pass from Palmer Rinehart and curved it around an oncoming Weems.

Murray added his second of the night with 32:18 left. The unselfish Greenie looked to pass in the box, but got the ball back and decided to again whip it past a sprawling Weems.

&uot;That’s been my problem. I haven’t taken enough shots all season,&uot; Murray said. &uot;But once that first one goes in, you get a lot of confidence. I was fine the rest of the game.&uot;

Rinehart added his 16th goal of the year to make it 5-1 with 21:56 left after buckling Weems’ knees with a shot that went the opposite direction of the Richland keeper.

Brock Archuleta headed in the Rangers last goal off a perfect corner kick from Fletcher.