05/03/05 — Rosewood improves soccer playoff standing with draw

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Rosewood improves soccer playoff standing with draw

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on May 3, 2005 2:18 PM

A tie was as good as a win for Rosewood's women's soccer team.

Despite having their three game winning streak against North Johnston snapped after a hard-fought 2-2 tie at Branch Pope Field, the Eagles took the inside track to second place and a home postseason game next week when the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs begin.

A win on Wednesday at home against fifth-place Tarboro makes it official. If the Eagles (6-4-2, 6-2-1 Class 1-A Carolina/2-A Eastern Plains) beat the Vikings, they will host the North Carolina/Tar Roanoke's third seed.

North Johnston (12-3-2, 6-2-1 Carolina/EPC) will take the conference's third playoff spot and travel in the first round. The Panthers host Spring Creek on Wednesday.

After each team scored one goal each in regulation, Rosewood's Rachel McCormick booted in a follow shot off of Stephanie Behrend's corner kick -- giving the Eagles a 2-1 edge midway through the first 10 minute overtime half.

The lead stood six minutes left in the overtime period When the Panthers' were awarded a penalty kick after Rosewood was whistled for a foul in the box.

Eagle goalie Molly Grantham, who turned in a stout performance in goal, got a glove on leading-scorer Jenna Gudac's shot. But, not enough, as her shot bounced off of Grantham's gloves and into the center of the net -- equalizing the game.

The final score marked the fourth-straight game between Rosewood and North Johnston decided by two goals or less.

Grantham (Jr.) finished with 14 saves in goal -- often stopping Gudac, a 37-goal scorer, charging from close range.

"I told their coach she (Grantham) was phenomenal tonight," North Johnston coach Brent Walston said. "She was in the right place at the right time and made some big saves."

Rosewood coach Eddie Maldonado was clearly pleased with Grantham's ability to come off of her line to make key stops.

"We've worked on having her come off of her line. She said, 'tonight I'm going to come off of my line as much as possible.' She did well tonight," Maldonado said.

Walston's club finished with 21 shots on goal to Rosewood's 17. Allison Hinnant had eight saves in goal for the Panthers.

Despite combining for numerous shots in the first half, the first frame ended in a scoreless draw.

Gudac opened the scoring five minutes into the second half, dribbling through and shielding off the Eagle defense across the box. Moving to her left, the junior settled the ball to her left foot and shot past Grantham for the first goal.

Three minutes later, freshman midfielder Mary Jo Moore connected on the first of two corner-kick follows by the Eagles to tie the game at 1-1.

"We knew they were going to mark Stephanie and Erin tough. They did that last time," Maldonado said. "We really needed to get something out of our midfield tonight. Mary Jo, Rachel and Tiffany Price had great games."

Gudac broke away from the Rosewood defense twice more before the end of the half, but Rosewood defenders Kandis Weeks and Emily Farmer hustled back to help Grantham keep North Johnston off of the scoreboard the rest of the way.

"There were a lot of shots. Both teams had opportunities, just missed them," North Johnston coach Brent Walston said. "They made them when they had to and so did we. Our offense did what we had to do to put the ball in the net, but we just missed some chances."