The Tarboro Lady Vikings had the win sealed in their soccer match with the Rosewood Lady Eagles Wednesday in Tarboro at Indian Lake Sports Complex, until Rosewood was granted a penalty kick with about two minutes left in the match after Tarboro was called for a hand ball inside the penalty box. Tarboro was leading 2-1 when the penalty was assessed. Eagles midfielder Rachyle McAnduff took the kick and Vikings goalie Courtney Perkins made a good diving save and the ball bounced forward off of her hands and McAnduff got the loose ball and kicked it back over Perkins' head to tie the game 2-2.
"That goal was not the goalies fault," Tarboro head coach Leshaun Jenkins said. "I have never told her to go get the ball on a penalty kick like that when it bounces off her hands. That is a mistake we make because we are young."
This was the Vikings third tie of the season. Their record stands at 3-1-3 now.
Rosewood kept the momentum during most of the first half and kept the ball on the Vikings end of the field. The Eagles took 13 shots on goal in the first half. Perkins had seven saves during the first half and 14 for the match.
With a minute and half left before halftime, Katie King punched the ball over all the Rosewood defenders heads and Shayla Thorne broke free and was able to put the ball in the back left corner of the net to give Tarboro a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Vikings took only six shots on goal in the first half.
"Shayla is a spark plug for us," Jenkins said. "She is very skilled with the ball and knows what to do with it at the right times. I am very proud of her for the performance she gave us because it was big."
Jenkins continued on to say that he switches Thorne and Chandler Harris on offense and defense. He decided to leave Harris on defense because the Eagles had a good offensive attacking scheme and Harris was keeping them from getting off good shots with her tough defense.
Rosewood came out in the second half looking to take the momentum back from Tarboro. Mid way through the second half, Eagles forward Marissa Hill found an opening and scored to tie the game at 1-1. Hill was able to get around the Vikings defenders and get a good shot off.
It didn't take Tarboro long to respond and take the ball to the Eagles side of the field and work it around to score another goal to give them the lead back. Four minutes after the Rosewood goal, Thorne found a seam between two Eagles defenders and dribble toward the right side of the goal and was able to punch the ball in the side of the goal for her second goal of the match to give Tarboro a 2-1 advantage.
Tarboro took only 11 shots in the match compared to Rosewood's 24, but Tarboro was able to make two of those shots count.
"We came into the match after having a great day of practice Tuesday," Jenkins said. "This is the best we have played all year because everyone did their part. Even despite the lapse where they were more offensive then we were. This is the best team ball we have played all season. Players are beginning to develop character and know what their roles are."
The Vikings have a very young team, which doesn't have a senior on the roster, that is progressing each day according to Jenkins, but he said his team is still making young inexperienced mistakes throughout matches and he is trying to improve that part of the teams chemistry to get them to where he thinks they should be.
Tarboro has set their goals and they want to win the conference championship this season and make a run in the playoffs.
"I can see us winning the conference championship easily this year and that is not to insult any team in our conference," Jenkins said. "But at our rate of improvement we are going to get there and be a good team."