By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
After more than 66 minutes without a score on Tuesday evening, a superlative effort by senior Amanda Barrett gave the Princeton girls soccer team a 1-0 advantage at Everette K. Bailey Field.
That advantage lasted 34 seconds.
Three girls from Woodrow Wilson High scored in the final 12:46 of the contest and left for Beckley with a 3-1 win over their hosts.
“I guess they wanted it more tonight,” said Princeton (6-7-2) head coach Michelle Dye. “They’re a good team. They’ve got some good talent out there. And I don’t want to make it sound like I’m making excuses, but in all reality we’ve got some players injured.”
Woodrow Wilson (7-4-4) head coach Paulette Umberger said, “Michelle and the Princeton girls are always a good team. They played well together. Unfortunately, they’ve had some injuries this season, and you hate to see that happen to anybody.”
“But it was a good game, right down to the last nine minutes and 30 seconds of it.”
The Beckleyans’ defense organized itself quickly all night, while Princeton was able to checkmate the Flying Eagles’ main scoring threats, senior Elizabeth Gramling and sophomore Rebekah Cook, until late in the game.
Princeton co-captain Tori Billips started out in the middle of the defense, and in the second half moved up to the midfield and led some offensive charges, but Beckley’s defense held.
Coming out of halftime, Woodrow Wilson had several looks at a score but could not convert. One ball snaked across the grass parallel to the goal line, inches from paydirt, until Princeton defender Haley Coburn booted it away.
Early in the match, Barrett was forced to the sidelines with a bloody nose, and it took a considerable portion of the first half before she was able to return. In the 65th minute, she was knocked to the ground and limped when she regained her footing.
About a minute later, though, she knifed through the Flying Eagles defense, and with a defender pressuring her from her right, fired the ball into the upper left corner of the net for the first score of the match.
“Amanda played a great game,” Dye said. “She took control, dribbled the ball in and took a beautiful shot right over (the goalkeeper’s) head.”
Woodrow took its next possession quickly downfield, and Shannon Barajas passed off to Cook, whose shot from about 25 yards out sliced under the crossbar and over the outstretched hand of goalkeeper Meredith Putorek.
Umberger said, “We told our defense, you cannot give them an opportunity, because if you give them an opportunity, they’re going to take it. And they had a shot and they took it and they made it.
“I think it fired us up to score after that. We just said, ‘Hey, we’re not going to let that go.’ They just stepped up. It was great.”
Cook said, “It fired us up, and we just took it to them.”
With nine minutes left, Gramling won the ball after a short punt and before the Princeton defense could organize, she placed the ball into the right side of the goal.
Defender Tanner Trostle executed a special play off a corner kick for the final goal — her first of the season — with 3:19 left.
Dye said the loss to their sectional neighbor “really doesn’t mean much as far as the section goes. We still have more wins in the section ... so that’s the good thing.”
Princeton has won once, tied once and lost four in its last six matches. The Tigers play at Parkersburg on Thursday.
Umberger said, “It was a big win for us. We’ve had a lot of ties this season ... It was good to not leave this as a tie, and to get a win.”
Woodrow Wilson hosts Shady Spring on Monday.
— Contact Tom Bone at