'Cane, 'Clones play to draw

By Allen LaMountain

   For sixty minutes the Elizabethton Cyclones stymied every attempt of the Morristown East Hurricanes to score, but in the next four minutes 'Betsy surrendered two quick ones and found themselves trailing.
   With 20 seconds left on the clock however, Luke Carrier beat East goalkeeper Craig Seals low and to his left, to forge a 2-2 tie on Wednesday afternoon at Brown-Childress Stadium.
   "Actually, it was a little surprising," commented Carrier. "We played real hard the first five minutes and the last five, but after they got that second goal on us it let our spirits down a bit. But we rebounded and got that last one."
   Senior goalkeeper David Poston did a fine job between the pipes, as did his defensive front of Lincoln Orellana and Alex Fries, who rejected several Hurricane offensive efforts.
   Poston stopped eight of the 13 shots that got to him, but he credited Orellana and Fries for clearing traffic in front saying, "Without those two they would have had a lot more shots on goal, and probably would have had a few more goals than they did. Lincoln runs the whole defense, he knows what to do and communicates that to the others."
   'Betsy got on the board early as Carrier re-directed a pass from Sandy Nave past Seals at the five minute mark of the first half. Nave also put forth a good effort in this contest, with an assist and two shots on goal.
   Poston made a great save against East's Jose Torres just two minutes later, with Orellana clearing the rebound out of the goal crease, but Seals returned the favor later in the half with a hand save of a header by Carrier.
   Michael Tierney fed the middle of the box with a corner kick and Carrier went high and headed it toward the goal, but Seals got his left hand on it and deflected the shot away.
   The Cyclones dominated the first half of action, out-shooting the 'Canes 6-5, but after the first seven minutes -- in which East had four shots -- 'Betsy put the clamps on defensively the remainder of the half.
   "This was not a pretty game from our standpoint," said Hurricanes head coach Marcus Ihle. "We have to learn to take what we do on the practice field and translate it to the game field. Tonight, we had no shape or composure. We still have some work to do."
   The second half saw a charged up Hurricane squad that peppered Poston with eight shots, and scored two goals in a four-minute span to take a 2-1 advantage with four minutes remaining.
   At the 32 minute-mark of the second half, Poston made what would prove to be a critical error. He had made a hand save and could have punted from his goal box, but instead elected to place kick.
   Poston's line drive kick was then blocked in front by the 'Canes' Kyle Gregory, who fed Nicolas Acevedo near the baseline. Acevedo's shot from nearly no angle somehow rode the top post and just eluded Poston's grasp and tied the game at 1-1.
   "It was a lucky goal is what it was," said Ihle. "We didn't build many attacks tonight. We aren't letting the ball do the work, and as a result you have to settle for less than great shots."
   Four minutes later Nathan Price drilled a high hard one past Poston to stake the 'Canes to a 2-1 lead with less than four minutes left.
   "It was an upper shot, a nice shot," said Poston. "He drilled it. They were real persistent all night. They kept hammering away trying to get shots and that one got by me."
   As time dwindled down to the last precious seconds, Derrick Slagle got a loose ball at around the 30 yard line and hit Carrier with a crossing pass that Carrier drilled to the far post and eluded a diving Seals to secure the draw.
   "In all of our games it seems we start fast, then have a lull at some point," said Cyclones head coach Bill McClay. "We gave up two goals in the last 10 minutes and were back on our heels a bit. We had lots of shots early, then the intensity seemed to wane, but the big thing was the goal at the end.
   "That's something we can build on, but we have to play 80 minutes."
   EHS now stands 1-4-2 on the season, while Morristown East's record is 5-1-1 on the season.
   EHS notes : 'Betsy travels to Gray tonight to face the Blazers of Daniel Boone. Game time is 7 p.m.