The Princeton Bulldogs defeated the Eastern Wayne Warriors 5-4 on Tuesday night in a match where there was no shortage of goals.
It didn’t take long for the scoring to begin in Tuesday night’s match. The first goal of the match came in just the 13th minute from Princeton’s Landon McKinley, who scored on an assist from Joshua Greenup.
Greenup created the assist off a free kick, which he decided to cross into the box instead of taking the shot himself. His unselfish play gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Eastern Wayne answered back in the 24th minute with a goal from Richard Montesinos. The goal was set up by a great pass from Miguel Martinez-Romero, which set up Montesinos one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
The Eastern Wayne forward made the finish look easy, and he tied the game at 1-1.
Princeton scored again just five minutes later to reclaim the lead with a goal from Jayden Braswell, who scored on a difficult angle to give his team a 2-1 lead.
The last goal of the half was scored by Eastern Wayne forward Milson Morales in the 36th minute. The goal tied the game at 2-2, and gave Eastern Wayne the momentum heading into the second half.
The Warriors carried over their great play from the end of the first half over to the beginning of the second half, and in the first 20 minutes of the half, they scored two more goals to take a 4-2 lead.
The first of two goals scored by Eastern Wayne in the second half came on a breakaway where Montesinos once again was in the right position. The Eastern Wayne forward had a one-on-one against the goalkeeper, which he buried in the back of the net for his second goal of the game.
The second goal of the half was Montesinos’ third goal of the game, which gave him a hat trick. The goal came off a corner which Martinez-Romero crossed into the box. Montesinos collected it off his chest, and scored it to give the Warriors a 4-2 lead in the 60th minute.
Even after giving up three straight goals to fall behind, Princeton never gave up, and they began to pick up their intensity.
The Bulldogs began to control more possession of the ball and create more scoring opportunities than the Warriors. In the 70th minute, the increased intensity from Princeton paid off when Morales scored.
The Bulldogs scored again just eight minutes later with a goal from Ernesto Garcia, who scored after a shot from Braswell was deflected back into play and landed at his feet. The goal from Garcia tied the match at 4-4 with just two minutes remaining.
Princeton continued to put pressure on the Eastern Wayne defense, and that constant pressure resulted in the Warriors fouling one of the Princeton players right outside the penalty box. The foul resulted in a free kick, which was taken by Garcia, who scored a goal less than two minutes earlier for Princeton.
Garcia’s free kick didn’t make it to the goal as it was blocked up into the air by one of the Eastern Wayne defenders. Braswell, however, who was waiting as the free kick was being taken, came flying into the area and got his head on the ball to score the game-winning goal.
Less than one minute later, the referee blew the final whistle, and all of the Bulldogs players began to hug one another and cheer in celebration after they pulled off the incredible comeback.
Princeton head coach Thomas Pilkington said he believes the biggest reason for their win against Eastern Wayne was that his players have been working harder in practice.
“That’s a big one for us,” Pilkington said. “We’ve had some tough nonconference games, and my guys have played well.
“I really challenged the guys in practice the other day to buy in, and they really did. I’m proud of them.”
With the win, Princeton is now 1-7-1 overall this season and 1-0 in Neuse Six 2A conference play. Eastern Wayne fell to 0-7-1 with the loss, and is 0-1 in the same conference.
Princeton will take on Goldsboro (2-4-1) at Goldsboro on Thursday at 6 p.m.
Eastern Wayne will take on Beddingfield at home on Tuesday at 6 p.m.