By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 27, 2011 1:49 PM
Rosewood has been working tirelessly for its victory of the season for more than six weeks.
That hard work finally resulted in a win Monday evening, and to make it even more satisfying, it came over a bitter rival. Corey Lynn scored the game's only goal on a rebound in the 59th minute and the Eagles hung on in a physical 1-0 victory over Princeton at Branch Pope Field.
It was the Carolina 1-A Conference opener for both teams.
The Bulldogs' Trevor Haines' shot missed just wide in the ninth minute.
Two minutes later, Rosewood's Dee Mabry also missed wide. Haines' shot in the 21st minute was saved by Eagles' keeper Daniel Herring.
Tan Truong's shot from inside the 18-yard box in the 25th minute was stopped by Bulldogs' keeper Will Toler. Princeton failed to capitalize on a pair of corner kicks in the 39th minute.
The Bulldogs also squandered a free kick inside the 18-yard box in the 46th minute along with a corner kick moments later.
"We had too many chances," Princeton coach Trent Hail said. "We had three focuses today, that was to finish, finish and finish. We couldn't do anything. I felt like we dominated. The name of the game is a score a goal.
"They scored their goal and they get the outcome."
After struggling to push the ball forward in the first half, Rosewood began to win the ball with more regularity after halftime and was able to string passes from the midfield to its forwards. Mabry received a pass from Bret Robinson and was all alone in the 18-yard box with Toler, but his shot sailed just over the goal.
Truong's shot in the 58th minute clanged off the crossbar before Lynn collected the rebound and slipped it past Toler a minute later.
"It seems like we're a second-half team," Eagles head coach Eddie Maldonado said. "Corey was starting in the back for us for a while. We decided to make a little bit of a change and put him in the midfield he gave us that spark that we needed.
"You could tell tonight he was getting after it."
Matt Davis nearly extended Rosewood's lead on two separate occasions as his shot in the 67th minute was saved by Toler and his shot three minutes later hit the crossbar.
Herring raced off his line in the 76th minute and slid to stop Haines who was charging hard toward the goal with the ball at his feet.
"That was huge," Maldonado said. "Daniel is not afraid of contact that's for sure. When he comes off he's going to get the ball. It's huge for him to come off with the confidence that he has. All season long it's been a struggle.
"It's tough to show you're getting better when you have nothing to show for it. It was huge to get the win, but it was huge to get the win the way we got the win."
The Eagles continue league play Wednesday at Goldsboro, while Princeton travels to defending Carolina champion Spring Creek.