PRINCETON — Buoyed by a senior night celebration, a relentless blue wall of Princeton Tigers stood between the Bluefield Beavers and the goal on Tuesday night at Everette K. Bailey Field.
The Tigers dominated for a 4-0 victory, with sophomore Davon Edwards securing a hat trick in the victory
“We just needed to get this win, on senior night,” said Edwards. “We love these seniors. It was their last senior night, and we got the win for them.”
The seniors “have been good” for the program, he said. “They talk to us. They’re leaders. They treat us like men.”
Slightly more than two minutes into the contest, Edwards took an assist from senior Ben Broyles and punched the ball into the goal.
Edwards said, “Ben, he knew exactly where I was going to go and he pinged the ball right to me and I got the goal.”
Edwards made it 2-0 late in the first half when he escorted the ball across the goal box, made a fake that caused the Bluefield keeper to stumble, and then tapped an easy putt into the open net.
The third goal belonged to senior Mohammed “Mo” Shanan, who found the net after he patiently pursued the ball, dished his way by Jared Watson.
Edwards tallied the final goal of the chilly evening. He faced down the goalkeeper once again, and after firing the ball toward the goal, he leaped the defender like a shortstop avoiding a sliding opponent at second base.
Princeton head coach Robbie Fix said about Edwards, “He stepped up really well tonight, and made the most of each opportunity he had. Devon plays really, really hard.”
Play was stopped late in the game when the Beavers’ keeper, William Matthews, went down in another collision. His father, head coach Monty Matthews, said his son “probably has a broken nose.”
“We’ll see how it goes,” the coach said. “He’s one that’s going to push as hard as he can to get back out there.”
Bluefield had only 12 players available in uniform on Tuesday, and Princeton’s deep bench wore them down.
“Unfortunately, with Bluefield right now, our numbers are down,” Monty Matthews said. “We’re a little outnumbered, a little out-skilled, (but) they battled tonight. They played hard, they were aggressive, and that’s all I can ask of them right now.”
Princeton concluded with 25 shots for the night, and eight corner kicks, while being Called offsides eight times. Bluefield issued four shots, three of them on goal.
Fix said, “All-in-all, we’re real pleased with the way we played tonight. … It’s always good to get a win at home and a win on senior night.”