10/27/11 — Goldsboro and Princeton play to draw

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Goldsboro and Princeton play to draw

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 27, 2011 1:48 PM

Goldsboro answered each Princeton goal in dramatic fashion, but couldn't get the senior night result it desired Wednesday evening.

Ethan Minshew supplied the game-tying goal in the 77th minute, however the Cougars settled for a 3-3 double-overtime draw against the playoff-bound Bulldogs on the Cougar Stadium pitch.

It was the regular-season finale for the Carolina 1-A Conference rivals.

"I love the fight, love the way these guys continued to improve over the season and I hate that these guys didn't get a win in the conference," said Goldsboro head coach Jim Phillips. "The improvement, though, is a victory within itself."

The Cougars (1-15-1 overall, 0-7-1 CC) twice rallied from one-goal deficits and tried to give their three seniors -- Osiel Valdes, Anthony Dobson and Nathan Wright -- a memorable farewell.

Senior forward Tyler Daniels put Princeton (4-11-2, 3-4-1) ahead in the fifth minute on an assist from Trevor Haines. Three minutes later, Peterson Innocent tallied the equalizer on a brilliant-played goal off the assist from Osmel Oviedo inside the 6-yard box.

The teams continued their frenetic back-and-forth pace, and each received superb play from its respective goalie. The Dogs' Zach Parker (four saves) smothered two point-blank shots during one stretch, while the Cougars' Chris Wiggins (nine saves) preserved the tie with a sliding cleat save on a crossing shot in the final 10 minutes of the opening half.

Goldsboro seized a 2-1 lead before the break when Minshew's shot deflected off Parker and Valdes sent it into the net. Valdes notched his fourth goal of the year and Minshew collected his team-leading 10th assist of the season.

"We started off the first half like we had already won the game, and were looking ahead to our next game," said Princeton head coach Trent Heil. "(Goldsboro) has improved ... out-played us in that first half. I challenged my kids to play the second half the way we are used to playing, and I thought they answered my challenge."

Sophomore forward Oliver Balderas knotted the contest at 2-2 with an unassisted goal in the 45th minute. He delivered his second goal in the 73rd minute to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 advantage.

The Bulldogs committed a costly error on a throw-in near the Cougars' bench led to the game-tying goal. Damon Pate picked up the ball and threw it into a group of players before a Princeton defender cleared it to the feet of Minshew. He lofted a floater from 30 yards out that sailed into the upper left 90 past the outstretched hands of Parker.

It was Minshew's fifth goal of the season.

"Their third goal was special, that's for sure," said Heil. "I thought we had it locked up."

Each team missed scoring chances in the two 10-minute overtime sessions. Princeton owned a 20-12 edge in shots and 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.