09/29/09 — Rosewood shuts out Princeton

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Rosewood shuts out Princeton

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 29, 2009 1:46 PM

Wipe the slate clean.

Start fresh.

Coming off two non-league victories this season, Rosewood opened Carolina 1-A Conference play in fast -- and dominating -- fashion on a pleasant autumn evening at Branch Pope Field. Scott Pate notched a hat trick (three goals) and dished out an assist as the Eagles soared past archrival Princeton 7-0.

It was the Dawgs' first-ever conference outing.

"Some tough non-conference games ... all those led up to this point," said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. "I thought effort-wise, we played extremely well. We controlled the ball in the midfield and stayed organized, didn't get too many caught out of position.

"We stayed disciplined."

The Eagles (3-6-1 overall) relentlessly attacked the Dawgs' defense from the opening whistle. Princeton (0-7-1) preferred to push nine players forward and leave two defenders back, which allowed Rosewood to control possession inside the 6-yard box.

"We expected that," said Dawgs coach Tim Besel. "We knew with just two defenders back they'd have a lot of long runs on the ball. They had several one-on-one chances against our keeper. When we looked at the stat sheet at halftime, they took most of their shots inside the 6-yard box and we said we could live with that."

Princeton goalie Derek West logged three of his six saves during the opening 14-plus minutes until Rosewood finally ended the scoreless deadlock. A defensive miscue led to Antonio Henriques' first goal of the season. Zach Behrend added a second goal 90 seconds later off Pate's lone assist.

Pate finished the four-minute offensive surge with a goal at the 19:23 mark off Will Caughron's assist. Pate and Behrend have combined for 14 of the team's 22 goals this season.

"Once we got on a roll, we were able to keep the pressure on them and get a couple more (goals)," said Mitchell. "The guys played extremely well in the first half. We were really more concerned about how we play, how focused we were to begin the game."

Behrend, Pate and Caughron combined for three goals in the final 10 minutes of the opening half as Rosewood owned a commanding 6-0 advantage at intermission.

Pate concluded the scoring in the 45th minute with a jaw-dropping, 55-yard shot. His high floater rode the strong breeze and slipped between West's outstretched arms and the crossbar to complete his hat trick.

"Gorgeous," said Besel. "You have to applaud him for making that."

Rosewood finished with a 21-5 edge in shots. Eagle keepers Will Grantham (two saves) and Aaron Keefer combined for the shutout in goal.