Rosewood had no problem taking care of business against Lejeune in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs.
The Eagles scored seven goals in the first half and went on to defeat the Devil Pups 9-0. No. 2 Rosewood (18-0-2 overall) advances to face No. 15 East Wake Academy (5-11-2) in the second round on Thursday.
“My biggest thing for my guys in this game was the games from here on out the count,” Rosewood head coach Eddie Maldonado said. “They count a little bit more because when you lose, there is no more. It’s finished.
“So, we need to play the way we’re supposed to play.”
It did not take very long for the Eagles to start putting goals on the board.
In the eighth minute, off a cross from Antonio Zavala-Baeza, Bryce Strickland headed the ball into the back of the net.
One minute later, off another cross from Zavala-Baeza, Aaron Zamora scored his first of four goals.
Giovanni Amaro-Silva scored a goal in the 13th and 14th minute to increase the Eagles’ lead to 4-0, while Zamora tacked on two more goals to push the Eagles ahead 6-0.
Strickland then scored the Eagles’ seventh goal in the 27th minute, and the Eagles went into halftime with a 7-0 lead.
“It’s not really about the goals that we scored. It’s how hard did we have to work for them, how well did we play together to score those goals,” Maldonado said. “Some of the goals were kind of soft and easy, and the boys know that.”
Then a minute into the second half, Zamora scored his fourth goal, while Zavala-Baeza scored his first goal, which ended the match.
After a big win in the first round, Maldonado said the challenge for the Eagles going forward is to prepare for the tougher opponents they will see as they advance further into the playoffs.
“After this round, all the bad teams are gone, so everybody is going to be a quality team from here on out,” Maldonado said. “So, now every game, we have to step up a little bit more, play more as a team, and play a little bit harder.
“Everything has to be a little bit more.”