Indian Springs’ girls go kicking into state

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2004

When Indian Springs’ girls soccer team slipped from first to second in the last AHSAA coaches poll, the girls didn’t take it lightly.

And when the team who replaced them at No. 1, Montgomery Academy, squared off against Houston Academy in the state playoffs, the girls from Springs pulled for Montgomery Academy.

With a first-round win against Holy Spirit, Indian Springs had set up a playoff-game showdown against Montgomery Academy with a little extra at stake.

&uot;It kind of lit a fire under our team to go out and show them that they weren’t the No. 1 team,&uot; said Indian Springs girls coach Hunter Gray.

Indian Springs (15-4-2) did just that, defeating Montgomery Academy 2-1 last Friday.

Springs scored first, four minutes into the game on an unassisted goal by Gatorade state player of the year Katherine Whitley.

Katherine scored again with 32 minutes remaining in the second half when her twin sister, Jennifer, had a shot on goal that rebounded off a Montgomery Academy defender and was finished off by Katherine.

Montgomery Academy scored its only goal of the contest with around 21 minutes remaining on a through-ball breakaway goal.

Montgomery Academy was unable to score again thanks in part to solid defensive play by midfielders Bizza Theibert and Sarah Beth Himie.

&uot;I’m really pleased with the way they’re playing now,&uot; Gray said. &uot;The older girls are taking the younger girls under their wing.&uot;

Gray said the team’s four senior captains have been crucial for an Indian Springs squad that graduated six starters from last year’s team and lost two starters to injuries earlier this season.

Senior Sunny Ovson and freshman standout Kavita Jariwala both went down with broken bones this spring, leaving captains Ashley Duquette, Theibert and the Whitley sisters to pick up the slack.

&uot;We’ve been shuffling people around a bit,&uot; Gray said.

The win against Montgomery Academy marked the girls’ 32nd straight win against a Class 1A-4A opponent, dating back to the 2001 state playoffs.

Indian Springs will put that streak on the line Friday at 9 a.m. in the Class 1A-4A semifinals against East Limestone.

The Indian Springs boys team, however, ended its season Monday night in the finale of a second-round playoff game against Montgomery Academy.

Indian Springs and Montgomery Academy played all but 18 minutes and 20 seconds of the game started on Saturday night before play was suspended due to lightning.

The two teams finished the contest Monday night with Montgomery Academy winning, 3-2.

After falling behind 2-0 on Saturday, Springs bounced back with two goals, one by Matt Furnace on an assist by Sean Goldfarb and the other on an unassisted shot by Mark Waldo.

When play resumed Monday night, the Indian Springs defense, anchored by Allen Eskridge, Mark Fawall and Goldfarb, didn’t allow any shots on goal.

But Montgomery Academy was granted a penalty kick with under five minutes remaining and was able to score the winning goal.

Indian Springs boys coach Rik Tozzi was ejected for arguing the call.

Indian Springs finished the season with a 14-7-2 record.

In other soccer action:

Chelsea’s girls lost their first-round matchup with Altamont, 4-1, in Class 1A-4A.

The Briarwood Christian girls team beat Cullman 4-0, then defeated Sylacauga 3-0 in the second round. The lady Lions will face Huntsville in the Class 5A semifinals Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Oak Mountain advances to Friday’s 6A girls semifinal after beating Grissom 2-0 in the second round. The Lady Eagles will play Auburn at 6 p.m. Friday. OMHS won its first-round contest against Tuscaloosa County, 10-0.

Briarwood Christian’s boys team will play Northridge at 3:45 p.m. Friday in the Class 5A semifinals. The Lions earned the berth by defeating Sylacauga 6-0 in the opening round and then beating Robertsdale 11-1 in the second round.

Oak Mountain’s boys team beat Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 8-1 in the opening round of 6A competition but then fell to Shades Valley 2-1 in double overtime Friday