10/21/10 — SC-RW

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By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 21, 2010 1:47 PM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Despite losing the shots-on-goal battle, 28-3, Rosewood never got discouraged.

It's the numbers on the scoreboard that really matter. The Eagles played bend-but-don't-break defense and walked out of Spring Creek with a 0-0 tie on Wednesday evening.

"It's one of those things where we bend, bend, bend but don't break," said Rosewood head coach Daniel Mitchell. "We dug in and gutted it out, especially with them coming at us and coming at us toward the end. My guys gave a tremendous effort I thought."

The Gators dominated the possession and the scoring opportunities in the Carolina 1-A Conference game. The Eagles appeared to get away with a handball and a foul on Spring Creek's Antonio Avila in the second overtime period. Both would-be infractions occurred inside the 18-yard box and would have resulted in penalty kicks.

"I just don't get calls," said Gators' head coach Paul Estrada. "Maybe because I'm constantly telling the refs how to ref. That was an obvious handball in the box. You get some and you don't. We just happen to never get them."

Dante Ortiz's shot on a rebound off Avila's shot in the first overtime sailed wide. Spring Creek held a 13-3 advantage in shots on goal in the second half. Ortiz's shot in the 47th minute sailed wide. Avila's shot in the 48th minute was saved by Rosewood keeper Jacquez Raynor.

Erick Fuentes couldn't score on shots in the 55th and 68th minutes. The Gators squandered four corner kicks in the second half and finished with a 10-0 edge in corners.

"I really thought one was going to squeak in," said Estrada. "I think maybe the word has gotten around to just pack in the middle and sit back and let (us) beam them at you and eventually they'll go away. I'm hoping the rest of our games people come out and play us to win.

"It seems like people are playing not to get beat 10-0. I think teaching kids to just sit back and play for a tie defeats the purpose, and it's not helping anybody."

Raynor tallied 18 saves including numerous diving stops on well-struck shots.

"I thought he came off his line well and was a little bit more aggressive," said Mitchell. "He definitely made some key saves. Against a team as talented as Spring Creek is, to come out of here with a clean sheet, we feel good about that."

The Eagles' three shots on goal all came in the second half as Spring Creek's constant pressure made it difficult for Rosewood to counter.

"It's one those things where you have to soak up the field a little bit and try and counter out of it," said Mitchell. "We tried to make the most of the opportunities that we had. It's just difficult because of the way they play through the midfield and the quality of players that they have and the possession."

The Eagles (6-6-1 overall, 3-3 CC) visit Goldsboro today. The Gators (6-3-3, 4-0-2) travel to Goldsboro on Monday.