Moore lifts RHS in 74th minute
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 30, 2008 2:53 PM
Visibly frustrated midway through the first half, Rosewood girls' soccer coach Eddie Maldonado yelled out to his players "whenever you want to score that's fine with me."
The message finally sank in and Mary Jo Moore scored the game-winning goal in the 74th minute, lifting the Eagles to a 1-0 senior night victory over archrival Princeton.
Rosewood (10-5-1 overall) handed the Bulldogs (8-3-1) their first defeat in four Class 1-A Carolina Conference outings this season. The Eagles climbed into a first-place tie in the standings.
After having a pair of chances sail over the crossbar in the first half, Moore's efforts finally paid off.
The senior sent a shot from the center of the box into the left corner of the goal leaving the Bulldogs with roughly six minutes to mount a comeback.
"This whole season, being a senior and being a captain, you could tell Mary Jo had this feeling she wanted to do something to help her team out," said Maldonado. "Not scoring a lot of goals this year, she didn't feel like she was always contributing. In a big game like this, it makes you feel good when she comes out with a goal."
Three Rosewood corner kicks and numerous scoring opportunities went by the wayside in the first half led to Maldonado's frustration.
Gabby Cornman's shot in the 12th minute hit the side of the goal. Francesca Verceles-Zara found herself wide open after receiving a crossing pass, but couldn't finish.
"At halftime I told them, 'you have this much possession and you're putting this much pressure on them. We need to just go ahead and kill it, and be done with it,'" Maldonado said. "The only thing I wanted them to change in the second half was to just score."
Rosewood's offensive woes continued after halftime.
Cornman's point-blank attempt to put her club on top in the 65th minute was turned away and two more corner kicks came up empty.
Generating offense was equally as difficult for Princeton all night. The Bulldogs mustered just two shots on goal and failed to convert on three corner kicks.
"Most of our scoring opportunities were on fast breaks," said Princeton head coach Tim Besel. "I know my girls up front have the speed, it's just creating those chances. Sometimes we can do everything but pull the trigger."
Although his club hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard at times this season, Maldonado has learned to lean on the ever-steady play of his defense. Tuesday evening was no different.
"My other senior Kelly Cosgrove, she's the one that really keeps us tight in the back," Maldonado said. "She'll play anywhere I want her to play. She's that workhorse in the back and she's aggressive.
"My whole defense has been doing a great job this year and we're really had to count on them in games where we haven't been able to score."
Rosewood visits North Johnston today while the Bulldogs travel to Spring Creek on Thursday. The Eagles visit Princeton on Friday.
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