MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Made with less than 20 seconds on the clock, Lejeune High School junior Timmy Vaughn’s game-winning goal hammered the final nail in Pender High School’s coffin.
The goal gave the Lejeune Devilpup boys varsity soccer team a 5-1 victory over the Pender Patriots aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 12.
“It was pretty intense the first half,” said Vaughan. “In the second half, we really came together and stepped it up.”
During the closely-matched first half, the Devilpups put up only one point against their competition. The teams stayed neck-and-neck with each bold attempt to score denied by the opposing goalie.
Pender hit quickly in the second half, scoring within a minute. They maintained momentum with another attempt at a goal, but lost their drive after a block by the Devilpup goalie.
“When the game was tied, our team came out and showed how much they wanted it,” said George Schumacher, Lejeune’s varsity soccer coach.
In the final 20 minutes, the Devilpups stepped up and executed quick, assertive plays.
“They were aggressive,” said Maj. Doug Cunningham, an electronics maintenance officer with 2nd Marine Division and Devilpup parent. “They never let down. They pushed forward and kept the other team on their heels.”
Cunningham credited the win to the way Schumacher’s assertive coaching style appeals to the youth.
Donna Stenberg, a Devilpup fan and parent, also believes Schumacher’s coaching is a strong motivation for the players.
“They have a great coach,” said Stenberg. “They keep getting better and are coming together as a team.”
With each new game, the players learn from the last, she added.
“It’s the best I have seen them play in two years,” said Cunningham.
The game was the seventh of the season and the team’s second win, which broke a small string of ties and brought their season record to 2-2-3.
To download the full Devilpup soccer schedule, visit www.am.dodea.edu/lejeune/lhs/pages/athletics.