05/05/12 — Smith gets natural hat trick in Rosewood-Princeton: Part III

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Smith gets natural hat trick in Rosewood-Princeton: Part III

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on May 5, 2012 11:15 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Rosewood earned its revenge.

Cory Smith collected a natural hat trick in the Eagles' 3-0 triumph over archrival Princeton at Amon Field on the Mount Olive College campus Friday evening.

The Eagles (8-5-2 overall) clinched the league's No. 1 seed and a home game in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A girls' soccer playoffs, which begin Wednesday. The Dawgs (13-7-1) are eligible for one of the East's eight wild-card berths.

Two days earlier, Princeton edged Rosewood on a last-minute goal and earned a share of the Carolina Conference regular-season championship. The teams needed the extra game to determine the playoff seeding.

"We didn't finish around the goal (Wednesday)," first-year RHS head coach Rocky McAlduff said. "I told them when you leave a game open like that, one mistake can make a difference and either team can capitalize. They did and we didn't. That's why you compete."

Ten minutes into the contest, the Dawgs lost freshman striker Jessica Brush to a season-ending injury. She severely sprained her right ankle and head coach Trent Heil suspects she will not participate in the postseason.

Kassandra Bautista-Velasquez took over for Brush and played well in her teammate's absence.

Smith put the Eagles in front 1-0 before halftime. She completed the hat trick with two second-half goals. Kimberly Scott, Rachyle McAlduff and Samantha Allen dished out one assist apiece.

"I thought we played well, am really proud of the girls," coach McAlduff said. "With Rosewood and Princeton, the talent level is about the same and the intensity is so close."

Heil said the extra width at MOC proved crucial for both teams.

"They pretty much controlled the game from the 15th minute on in the first half to the end of the game," Heil said. "The Mount Olive field is much wider and they did a good job of utilizing the extra space. We had some opportunities to score, just couldn't put it in the back of the net.

"We knew it was going to be tough. We hung in there and played good."