Lady Bulldogs coming together

Princeton’s Rachel Creech holds off her defender to notch the first of two goals on the night in an 8-1 Bulldogs win over North Duplin. (Michael Held photo)

BY MICHAEL HELD

Sports editor

PRINCETON—It was the best game Princeton girls soccer coach Thomas Pilkington has seen his team play in his two seasons at the helm as the Bulldogs played host to North Duplin last Tuesday evening.

It was a good enough showing that Princeton ended up routing the Rebels, 8-1.

Esbeydy Bautista and Rachel Creech each scored a brace while Veronica Blackman, Allie Britt, Morgan Fields and Emma Marques rounded out the scoring with a goal apiece.

In the game’s 14th minute, Allie Britt connected with Rachel Creech down the spine of the North Duplin defense and Creech selflessly slid the ball across to Esbeydy Bautista who found the back of the net.

Britt’s dominance in the middle of the pitch winning the ball back with solid tackles and springing the Bulldogs into the attack by finding teammates in stride was a constant for the remainder of the game.

It wasn’t just Britt who was finding the passes but everyone else and their movement off the ball that had Pilkington excited.

“I think we passed the ball in the right areas and with the right weight on the ball in the attacking sense,” said Pilkington. “Our through balls didn’t go to the goalie and ruin our possession, our through balls went to our feet and they went to another pass or cross. The offensive teamwork and movement up front was impeccable.

“It’s exactly what we worked on in practice and to see it out here was awesome.”

Freshman Emily Rubio made seven saves on the night with her highlight stop of the game coming midway though the first half when she leaped to deflect a free kick from the Rebels’ Kimberly Villagran off the crossbar and away from danger.

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