05/05/09 — Rosewood handles North Johnston

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Rosewood handles North Johnston

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on May 5, 2009 1:46 PM

Stay in the hunt.

With a rematch with Princeton for a share of the Carolina 1-A Conference title looming on Wednesday, Rosewood took care of the task at hand Monday evening.

The Eagles used solid defense and a pair of goals from Gabby Cornman to claim a 3-0 victory over North Johnston at Branch Pope Field.

Rosewood pressured the Panthers throughout the first half and earned corner kicks in both the eighth and 11th minutes.

Cornman collected a loose ball inside the 18-yard box in the 16th minute following Rachel McAlduff's free kick from outside the 18 and slipped it past North Johnston keeper Sarah Anderson for a 1-0 lead.

Rosewood continued to dominate possession and earned a pair of corner kicks in the 25th and 27th minutes. The Panthers failed to clear Cornman's corner kick in the 27th minute and Ariel Nacca booted a loose ball past Anderson to extend the advantage to 2-0.

Rosewood (9-6 overall, 3-1 Carolina) held a 3-1 shots-on-goal advantage in the first half and a 4-1 edge in corner kicks.

"The girls knew that after we lost to Princeton to have a shot the conference championship that we had to win out," said Eagles head coach Eddie Maldonado. "Tonight we knew we had to come ready to play. I was pleased with the effort. We got the wind the first half and I think the wind played a big role."

North Johnston cranked up its offensive intensity in the final 40 minutes, but failed to turn possessions into scoring opportunities. Megan Scott's free kick from just outside the 18-yard box in the 67th minute was punched away by Rosewood keeper Taylor Johnson.

Scott's free kick from a similar location in the 70th minute sailed over the crossbar. The Eagles' defense stood tall for 80 minutes and held Panthers to five shots on goal. Johnson recorded three saves.

"All year long I can always count on my defense," said Maldonado. I've got three juniors in the back at goalie, sweeper and stopper and they pretty much control the stuff in the back.

"We have a freshman and a sophomore that do well. We've been able to count on them to keep us in games when we've needed them."

Cornman tucked a goal into the top right corner of the net in the 77th minute to cap the scoring.

Rosewood appeared to lack intensity for the majority of the first half and struggled to overcome a 2-0 halftime deficit in a 3-0 loss at Princeton last Monday. Maldonado doesn't anticipate a similar effort on Wednesday night.

"Against Princeton I just felt like we didn't show up," said Maldonado. "I don't know why we didn't show up. I'm hoping that next time against Princeton we can get the job done.

"I think they learned a big lesson, especially the way Princeton celebrated. I hope come Wednesday night it will be another story."