Eagles rebound over Indian Springs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2006

After losing for the first time in their careers on their home field to Homewood on Saturday, the seniors on Oak Mountain&8217;s boys&8217; soccer team were on a mission Monday night against Indian Springs.

It turned out the Eagles needed only one goal on senior night to win the match.

Senior forward Bryce Nolan netted the game-winner in the first minute of play off a free kick from teammate Jonathan Guthrie.

&8220;They were motivated to play and get results after losing to Homewood,&8221; Oak Mountain head coach Ryan Patridge said of his team&8217;s effort. &8220;We&8217;re beat up and missing a few players, but I thought we had a great night defensively.&8221;

The victory clinched the top spot for the Eagles in Group C of the Birmingham Metro Tournament with nine points in the 10-point scoring system. Their opponent in the second round was yet to be determined at press time.

&8220;This was a tough game,&8221; Indian Springs head coach Rick Tozzi said. &8220;We respect Oak Mountain and they have very good coaching.&8221;

Tozzi said, despite the loss, he was happy with the way his players performed.

&8220;I&8217;ve told our kids that they can win and play poorly and I&8217;ll be unhappy with them,&8221; he said. &8220;But they can lose and play phenomenally and I&8217;ll be happy with them. I was happy with them tonight.&8221;

The game was not without controversy, however, as two calls by referees negated Indian Springs&8217; scoring chance.

With the tournament utilizing a two-referee system and no line judges, Tozzi questioned whether it was possible for two referees to call the game.

&8220;I thought these referees did a phenomenal job with what they had to work with,&8221; Tozzi said. &8220;But in a game as big as this, on a field as big as this, you have to have three officials. There&8217;s no way around that.&8221;

Indian Springs was scheduled to play Homewood in their second Group C pool game on Tuesday.

Win or lose, Tozzi said his team was excited about what lies beyond the metro tournament.

&8220;The playoffs are definitely in the boys&8217; minds,&8221; he said. &8220;I like this tournament because it gives us at least two games against high quality opponents and allows our guys to concentrate on something else besides the playoffs.&8221;

The first round of the AHSAA playoffs begins next Tuesday.

Boys&8217; playoff schedule:

u Thompson at Oak Mountain

uSpain Park at John Carroll

uBriarwood at Benjamin Russell

uBrew Baker Tech or Holy Spirit at Indian Spring