Havelock falls to defending champ Jacksonville in playoffs


Havelock's Noah Kemble plays the ball against Jacksonville. Kemble scored Havelock's lone goal in the 3-1 loss to the Cardinals in the first round of the state playoffs.

Rick Scoppe/Halifax Media Service
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM.

Jacksonville wasn’t at its best, but the Cardinals were still good enough to go three-for-three against Coastal 3A Conference foe Havelock and advance to the second round of the soccer playoffs.

Junior CJay Sparks, who had an IV earlier in the day as he battled a stomach virus that also afflicted some of his teammates, had one goal and an assist to help the fourth-seeded Cardinals beat the 29th-seeded Rams 3-1 Tuesday night.

Seniors Alex Pino and Warren Washington had Jacksonville’s other goals as the defending state champions advanced to the second round

“We weren’t playing pretty good,” said Pino, who gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with 14:15 left in the opening half. “We weren’t on our game. We need to control the ball more. We just need to keep our heads in the game.”

Part of the problem, no doubt, was a number of players – including Sparks, Washington and Ryan Johnson – were suffering from a stomach virus. The other problem was this was the third meeting between the two teams. Jacksonville won the other two 6-2 and 5-1.

 “Playing a team for the third team, a little overconfident. Not really taking it serious like we should,” Jacksonville coach Dave Miller said.. “Then, of course, the few illnesses, and it was just sloppy. There wasn’t a whole lot of intensity or sense of urgency.

“So I don’t think mentally we were where we needed to be for a playoff game. It didn’t seem like we were really getting any kind of rhythm tonight. But like I told the boys, ‘It’s survive and move on, find a way to get it done and play another game.’”

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