Princeton drops rival Rosewood
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 28, 2009 1:46 PM
PRINCETON -- Eighty minutes of domination.
Princeton head coach Tim Besel asked for that kind of effort against archrival Rosewood on Monday evening and his Bulldogs delivered.
Princeton outhustled the Eagles, played more physical and capitalized on its scoring opportunities in a 3-0 victory. The Dawgs (10-3 overall) seized sole possession of the Carolina 1-A Conference lead.
Besel's team grabbed the early momentum, chasing down loose balls, setting the tone physically and keeping pressure on the Rosewood defense.
Morgan Brush's long blast from roughly 35 yards out deflected off the fist of Eagles' keeper Taylor Johnson and into the back of the net to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
"All I wanted from them was the best game they've ever played," said Besel. "That's all I was asking and they delivered. They came out on fire and the momentum just kept us moving. We talked about this game coming down to overtime and penalty kicks, and when we got that goal early we celebrated for about five seconds.
"Then it was right back to work."
Rosewood threatened in the 26th minute as Kaitlyn Conger made a run into the 18 yard box with the ball at her feet, but Princeton keeper Amber Brush was there to make a sliding save. Brush made a similar sliding stop on Marissa Hill's shot in the 31st minute.
Olivia Booker's shot into the top left corner in the 33rd minute got past a diving Johnson and gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage. Princeton held a 9-4 advantage in shots on goal in the first half.
The Eagles (7-6, 2-1) appeared to have a renewed sense of purpose early in the second half and unleashed an onslaught of early pressure on the Princeton defense.
Gabby Cornman's free kick from about 25 yards out in the 44th minute sailed just wide. Cornman's free kick from roughly 30 yards out in the 47th minute was cleared out. A corner kick in the 51st minute was also cleared.
"I honestly thought we were going to be able to dig ourselves out of the hole," said Rosewood head coach Eddie Maldonado. "After they scored, I thought we were going to pick it up and dig and fight, but we never did. At halftime I ripped them and we just didn't have it."
Princeton earned a penalty kick in the 66th minute for a foul on Johnson inside the 18-yard box. Morgan Brush beat Johnson in the bottom left corner to extend the margin to 3-0.
The Eagles failed to record a shot on goal in the second half and were outshot 16-4. At times, they displayed a visible lack of intensity in their biggest game of the season to date.
"I'm embarrassed," said Maldonado. "They outplayed us all over the field. They outhustled us, they worked the ball a lot better than us and they played a great game. I'm embarrassed by my team's performance.
"Princeton played a good game but we allowed them to play a good game also."
The Bulldogs earned their eighth shutout of the season and now find themselves in the driver's seat in the Carolina 1-A with a trip to archrival North Johnston looming on Wednesday.
"We are thriving on shutouts this year," said Besel. "Our defense has just matured in the past year and really taken pride in being defenders and they want shutouts. We're not going to rest on our laurels and tomorrow's practice will be exactly the same as the one before.
"We'll celebrate tonight but tomorrow it's back to work."
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