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Spartans fight past Dragons

Central Davidson's Carly Spainhour attempts to head the ball on a corner kick set play against West Davidson on Wednesday. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

TYRO | Regardless of their records, Central Davidson knows it’s in for a dogfight when it heads to West Davidson for a soccer game, and Wednesday was no exception.

But with a few key plays, the Spartans stayed perfect in the Central Carolina Conference.

Kammi Cox got things going with a goal in the first half, and Alex Myers tacked on two more after the intermission to lead the Spartans to a 3-0 victory over the Dragons at Glosson Stadium. With the win, Central finished the first half of the conference season 5-0 in league play, 12-1-1 overall.

West freshman Erin Hennessee marked sophomore sensation Haley Westervelt very tightly the entire evening. But the Spartans have so much firepower, keeping Westervelt off the scoreboard doesn’t even come close to guaranteeing victory. Central only led 1-0 at the half, after Cox took advantage of a West miscue on Myers’ throw-in and rifled in a shot from the 18. “We were not passing in the first half,” Central coach Chad Hench confessed. “We were getting out-hustled, they were beating us to balls. They were putting some people back behind us and it was gonna be tough to get through them.

“We had a lot of frustration in the first half. So we talked about crashing on the corner kicks, making sure we put some people in better positions.”

That’s exactly what happened in the first minute of the second half. Anderson Conrad got a ball deep, and played it nicely over to Myers. Then Myers, a freshman who has provided a big boost to the Central offense this season, finished with a shot past West keeper Emily Hutchinson to make it 2-0.

“That was a nice way to start the half,” Hench said. “We scrapped a lot.”

It stayed 2-0 for most of the second half, but Central had a handful of opportunities to score. Daniela Benitez made a beautiful play to deny a Central goal on a corner kick with 26 minutes left, then Hutchinson came up with a great save with 15 minutes left.

It was quite different from the first half, when West had some opportunities to get on the scoreboard. “You capitalize on mistakes, that’s where you win and lose soccer games,” West coach Chris Brown said. “1-0 at the half, we’re still in the game. We had a free kick, keeper has to make a save on it.

“We have a shot that hits the crossbar; could have been 2-1.”

Myers added an insurance goal at the 9:09 mark, when she took a pass from Westervelt and hammered it into the net for a 3-0 lead.

While Hench is tickled to be 5-0 at the halfway point of the conference slate, he understands the season is far from over. “We haven’t done that before, and it’s good to get here,” he said. “But we do realize, halfway through is simply that, halfway through.”

West dipped to 2-3 in the league, 3-7-0 overall. The Dragons visit Ledford on Thursday, while Central visits Wheatmore on Friday.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220 or