Kendall's hat trick leads Rosewood
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 20, 2005 1:58 PM
Rosewood midfielder Goss Kendall posted a hat trick (three goals) as the Eagles claimed a 6-1 win over county rival Spring Creek in a key Class 1-A Carolina/Tar Roanoke Conference game on Wednesday night at Branch Pope Field.
The win improves the Eagles (6-9 overall) to 3-3 in conference play with two games left in the regular season. The Gators (4-5-1 overall) fell to 3-4 in the league with one Carolina/TR game remaining.
Rosewood, Spring Creek and Louisburg are in a battle for the conference's second and final guaranteed N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff spot. Programs in the east also have the chance of grabbing one-of-seven wild cards. League-undefeated North Johnston will take the league's top spot.
"We understand we've got to win. We can't afford to lose another game," Rosewood coach Daniel Mitchell said. "I think we understand that, and we're starting to play with that sense of urgency we should have had all season.
"I think we played well as a group tonight."
Spring Creek got on the board first when Jose Ramirez knocked in a loose ball in the penalty box after a corner kick from the left side just five minutes into the game.
"We felt like if we could get up early on them, anything could happen," first-year Spring Creek coach Gordon Crocker said. "We've got a big game coming up Monday with Ayden-Grifton, so we've really got to play well."
Each team had several near misses in the middle stages of the first half, before Rosewood's offensive pressure began to pay big dividends. During a seven minute stretch, the Eagles posted three goals to take a 3-1 lead into halftime.
Kendall knocked in the first goal on an assist from Will Smith, before giving Rosewood the lead for good two minutes later when he booted in a loose ball from close range after a flurry of shots on goal by the Eagles.
"We really haven't been playing well the last couple of weeks and a lot of it has been the effort," Mitchell said. "We've been really talking about the effort they give, and I thought we did that. We turned up the intensity, put the pressure on them in the back and took advantage of our opportunities."
Just before the end of the half, Rosewood's Drew Kriger was tripped in the box -- awarding the Eagles a penalty kick. Kyle Bunn came up from his sweeper and drilled the kick back post and past the diving Gator goalie.
The Eagles weren't finished.
Rosewood continued that offensive momentum in the early stages of the second half as Kriger, Kendall and Selving Sabillon tallied one goal each, while Smith assisted on Sabillon's goal to push the score to its final margin.
Rosewood goalie Trevor Morris turned in several tough saves in the second half to keep the Gators off of the scoreboard the rest of the way. Morris finished with six saves overall.
The Eagles owned a 15-8 shot advantage overall.
Rosewood will face North Lenoir in a non-conference game today in LaGrange, before hosting North Johnston on Monday. Spring Creek takes on Ayden-Grifton on Monday.
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