September 19, 2018

Sophomore Bush Making Impact on Back Line, Helping PHS Girls’ Soccer Produce 2-1-2 Start

BUSHWHACKER: Princeton High girls’ soccer player Greta Bush, left, battles a foe for the ball in recent action. Last Saturday, sophomore defender Bush scored a goal in a losing cause as PHS fell 3-1 to visiting Steinert. The Little Tigers, now 2-1-2 after defeating Trenton Central 6-0 last Monday, host WW/P-North on September 20 before playing at Allentown on September 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

After getting called up to the Princeton High girls’ varsity soccer team last year as a freshman, Greta Bush has established herself as a key defender for the squad this fall.

But last Saturday as PHS hosted Steinert, Bush demonstrated that her tenacious defense can lead to offense, lofting a volley for a goal to help the Little Tigers knot the game at 1-1 in the first half.

“I didn’t realize I was going to get the ball from her; I was just fighting for the ball and I didn’t want to give up,” said Bush.

“Finally I looked up and saw an open corner and I just shot it. I think it gave us a boost of confidence.”

Steinert, though, got a boost with a goal late in the first half to take a 2-1 lead at intermission. PHS generated some good chances in the second half but the Spartans ended up adding a late goal to win 3-1.

“We definitely fought hard, but I just think we couldn’t finish the game,” said Bush, reflecting on the defeat.

Bush almost didn’t finish the game as a hard collision midway through the second half sent her tumbling to the turf and then to the bench for treatment.

“I deflected a ball and came in and we conjoined super hard and I kind of lost consciousness a little bit and I felt like I was going to throw up,” recalled Bush. “Coach [Carlos] Salazar helped me out; I did not want want sit out.”

Although PHS didn’t get the result it wanted, Bush believes that the experience will help the team in the long run.

“They won sectionals last year so it is knowing that we can stand up to them and stay on their ground,” said Bush.

Bush is on solid ground as she has become a full-time starter for PHS.

“I really enjoy it; I love having the competition and playing against older people,” said Bush, who tallied another goal as PHS defeated Trenton Central 6-0 last Monday to improve to 2-1-2.

“I want to stand my ground and I want people to know that I can do something here. It is definitely confidence; I am putting myself in the right mindset. Everyone else is helping me out here, saying positive things and we are becoming good friends with the team bonding.”

PHS head coach Val Rodriguez saw Bush’s goal as a big positive for the sophomore defender.

“Greta needed that; she is a great player,” said Rodriguez. “She is very hard on herself and that goal was well-deserved.”

In the view of Rodriguez, PHS deserved better over the last 40 minutes of the contest.

“The second half was a great half of soccer,” said Rodriguez. “They got one on us, but we had some really great chances. We had more possession.”

While the defeat to the Spartans stung, Rodriguez believes that PHS has a chance to enjoy a big season.

“We are young in terms of new starters on the field; we are learning and the name of the game is who’s alive in November, so that is the message to the team,” said Rodriguez.

“We are working hard; we are getting through some obstacles and doing really well. We just have to understand that we can play with the best of the CVC. We graduated a great class last year, but we are back and we are strong. We have a lot to work on but we will be just fine this year.”

Working as a unit is the key to success this fall for the Little Tigers. “I am all about the team and that is what we are trying to build this year – the team effort,” said Rodriguez, whose squad hosts WW/P-North on September 20 before playing at Allentown on September 24.

“I could care less if our sweeper scores the goal or if our center forward scores it. The kids are getting that; they understand that the name on the front of the jersey is what matters.”

Bush, for her part, feels that the Little Tigers are developing an understanding of where they can improve.

“I really like how this is going,” said Bush. “We need to practice coming out shooting and working as a team. Good communication is always going to help us.”