05/05/12 — Freshman "Brush"es aside archrival

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Freshman "Brush"es aside archrival

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 5, 2012 11:15 PM

PRINCETON -- A freshman "Brushed" aside any chances of Rosewood clinching the Carolina 1-A Conference girls' soccer championship outright Wednesday evening.

Jessica Brush booted home the game-winning goal in the 78th minute, and Princeton earned a share of its second straight league title with a stunning, 3-2 victory on the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex pitch.

The archrivals finished tied atop the Carolina standings at 5-1-0 and will meet Friday in Seven Springs to determine the conference's No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs. Kick-off is 7 p.m. at "The Swamp."

Rosewood (7-5-2 overall) controlled possession throughout the second half and collected the equalizer in the 51st minute. Bulldogs keeper Amber Hill drifted toward the near post as Marissa Hill received a long pass from Samantha Allen outside the 18.

A defender draped over her, Hill did a one-touch move and ripped the game-tying blast toward the back post. It was Hill's eighth goal of the season.

The Eagles, who have either won or shared five Carolina titles since 2007, continued to strike at the Bulldogs' goal. Shots from Logan Bill, Rachyle McAlduff and Hill either bounced wide of the posts or sailed just over the crossbar.

Each miss drew groans from the Rosewood crowd.

And each empty attack bolstered Princeton's confidence.

The Dogs (12-5-1) caught a break as precious seconds ticked off the clock. The Eagles' defense failed to clear a ball about 25 yards from goal and Brush out-raced her defender to gain possession.

She dribbled into the penalty area and Rosewood keeper Ellen Morgan stepped off her line to challenge her. Morgan dropped to block the ball, but couldn't get a firm grip.

Brush took the ball away and easily tucked it into the net to give the Bulldogs their third Carolina regular-season championship since 2009.

"My girls made it happen," Brush said. "She mishandled it and afterwards, she tried to grab me a little bit and I fought through. You have to get a goal like that."

Hill turned back two Rosewood shots in the final two-plus minutes and ended the match with five saves. The Eagles finished with a 12-9 edge in shots-on-goal.

"We had more opportunities on goal, got a little excited and didn't put them away when we needed to," McAlduff said. "One-on-ones with the keeper ... we hit them right to her. We bury those away, that (final) score is completely different."

Rosewood grabbed a 1-0 advantage 79 seconds into the match on an own goal. Princeton responded with goals from senior Ashley Jacobs and Brush in the 17th and 23rd minutes, respectively.