05/13/04 — Soccer -- Rosewood

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Soccer -- Rosewood

By David Williams
Published in Sports on May 13, 2004 2:51 PM

In a tough, physical battle between two soccer teams, it is usually one fatal mistake that decides victory or defeat.

And in that one moment, Rosewood's soccer season came to and end.

An own-goal in the 59th minute provided all the scoring as Reidsville beat the Lady Eagles 1-0 in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A/2-A playoffs Wednesday night at Branch Pope Field.

The loss ends Rosewood's season at 14-4 and keeps the Lady Eagle program winless in post-season competition. Reidsville (11-6-1), the No. 3 seed from the North State Conference, will meet Durham School for the Arts in the second round of the playoffs in a match tentatively scheduled for Saturday in Durham.

It was only the second shut out loss the Eagles had suffered all season.

"I really don't think we came out to play tonight," said Rosewood coach Eddie Maldonado. "The girls said they were ready to go, but we've played better soccer in the past. But I don't want to put that team (Reidsville) down at all or take anything away from what they did."

The action stayed in the midfield for most of the game. Rosewood had chances through the first half, pushing the offense harder than Reidsville by dumping the ball ahead to forward Erin Thibodeau. But the Rams had the Eagles' star scorer marked, and the pass ahead usually resulted in forcing her wide or stuffing her charge on a 2-on-1 or 3-on-1 advantage.

"She has scored 38 goals on the season, and that's more than our team scored the whole year," said Reidsville coach Kathy Martin, whose team was playing without leading scorer Anna Blaylock. "We knew she was an offensive powerhouse, and we knew we needed to keep her isolated. Once we saw her play, we felt we could really expose her right foot. She's a powerful cannon with her left foot, but her right foot needs a little more work.

"But she's a very talented player."

"They knew exactly what to expect from our girls," said Maldonado. "We got in a situation where when they took us out of the midfield, we just wanted to kick the ball long and let our forwards run on to it. So they dropped their sweeper back and forced our girls out wide, and we couldn't do anything about it."

" I think our girls outlasted their girls," said Martin. "That was the key. We broke them down defensively, and kept putting on the pressure until they made a mistake."

That mistake came on a corner kick by Reidsville's Lara Lee West, who dribbled her shot across the Eagle goal mouth. Several players from both teams were on the line, and a Rosewood player tried to clear the ball but knocked it into the goal.

Closing in on the 60th minute, Rosewood went from a dead-even team to a team down a goal and fighting for its life.

"The second half they came out and played a lot better than they did in the first half," said Maldonado. "They took the game away from us. They controlled nearly three-fourths of the game in the second half. We didn't have the midfield to match up with them and that put all the pressure on our defense, and we couldn't handle it."

The Lady Eagles kept on fighting as Kerry Garner and Stephanie Behrend kept on trying to put on pressure to get the equalizer. In the 85th minute Thibodeau tried to get a breakaway and was taken down in the box, but no call was made.

Five minutes later, the season was over.

The game was the final one in the careers of seniors Stacy Ellis, Amber Kriger and Garner, who were recognized before the game for their contributions to the program.

2004 N.C. High School

Athletic Association

Class 1-A/2-A Girls

Soccer Playoffs -- First round

(at Rosewood HS)

Reidsville 0 1 -- 1

Rosewood 0 0 -- 0

Second half

Reidsville -- own-goal off corner kick 59:30

Reidsville Rosewood

7 Shots 8

3 Corner kicks 2

0 Offsides 1

5 Fouls 7

Saves -- Reidsville -- Scott 8. Rosewood -- Grantham 6.