05/03/07 — Rosewood loses heartbreaker

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Rosewood loses heartbreaker

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 3, 2007 1:47 PM

Rosewood's regular-season, women's soccer finale against Classes 1-A/2-A Carolina/Eastern Plains Conference rival North Johnston had scoreless draw written all over it Wednesday evening.

Until the 63rd minute.

A defensive miscue resulted in an own goal and the Panthers escaped 1-0 at Branch Pope Field. Despite the loss, the Eagles (10-5 overall) retained the No. 1 seed from the Carolina Conference and will host a wild-card opponent in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A playoffs.

North Johnston, which earned its first-ever regular-season sweep over Rosewood, exited 9-7-2 overall and 6-3-1 against all C/EPC foes. The Panthers are expected to receive a wild-card bid for the playoffs.

Defense preserved a 0-0 halftime deadlock for both teams.

The Eagles' Kelly Cosgrove and Emily Farmer did a superb job clearing balls in the six-yard box. Meanwhile, the Panthers' Taylor Allen -- a junior stopper -- booted numerous balls out of bounds or back toward midfield to prevent Rosewood from organizing an attack on goal.

"Neither team didn't have a lot of chances and most of the play was from 18 to 18," said Panthers head coach Brent Walston, whose team misfired on six first-half corner kicks.

Rosewood dominated possession the first eight minutes of the second half, but couldn't find the mark. Direct shots inside the 6-yard box either rolled wide or sailed through the football goal posts.

The Eagles owned a 13-5 edge in shots on goal.

"We couldn't buy a goal for nothing," said RHS head coach Eddie Maldonado. "I told them at halftime if you keep giving them corner kicks, they're going to put one in."

The Panthers did, via an Eagle deflection.

Allen triggered a corner kick from the left side and junior forward Haley Newsome camped out at the near post. The line-drive kick just did miss Newsome's head, but the ball glanced off a Rosewood defender and into goal.

"I couldn't really tell if one of them touched it," said Maldonado. "We scored on ourselves ... again. That seems to be something we've been doing a lot of this year.

"They seem to have our number this year. Everybody that we've lost to, we've redeemed ourselves. I figured tonight we'd come out and play well."

The Eagles endured their first home loss of the season.

"We had a lot more corner-kick chances and at least that meant we were being more aggressive, making the ball play off of them in that direction," said Walston. "We got a fortunate bounce, that's all it came down to. That's the way Princeton beat us.

"We survived."

Rosewood senior Karli Beasley had a shot that curled around the far post and rolled over the end line with less than five minutes remaining in regulation. Teammate Mary Jo Moore lofted a shot over the crossbar with about two minutes to go.

Beasley, Farmer and fellow seniors Rachel McCormick and Chelsea Brown played their final regular-season home game. McCormick had one shot on goal and was double-marked throughout the 80-minute affair by Allen and Michelle Murray. The duo split defensive duties in place of senior sweeper Brittany Lane, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury against North Lenoir.

North Johnston 0 1 -- 0

Rosewood 0 0 -- 0

Second half

NJ -- Own goal, 63:00

Shots on goal -- N. Johnston 5, Rosewood 13. Corner kicks -- N. Johnston 11, Rosewood 4. Fouls -- N. Johnston 6, Rosewood 7. Offsides -- Rosewood 5. Saves -- N. Johnston (Whitehurst 4), Rosewood (Johnson 2).

Records: N. Johnston 9-7-2, 6-3-1 Carolina/EPC; Rosewood 10-5, 7-3.