Briarwood soccer sends both teams to state

Briarwood’s 3-2 loss on penalty kicks in the Class 5A girls’ soccer state championship last year is a hard one for the Lady Lions to forget. But just in case some have, head coach Ryan Leib reminded them before Tuesday’s 5-1 quarterfinal win over John Carroll.

“It left a bad taste in our mouth,” Leib said. “We want to make a mends for that. We gave one away last year. We want to make sure if we lose, we lose playing our best.”

Senior Lauren Silvio did her part, scoring two goals to lead the Lions past the Cavaliers, with Abbie McCary assisting both.

“(Silvio) is fired up. She’s excited and wants to win this weekend real bad,” Leib said.

Briarwood (11-8-2) will meet St. Paul’s in the Class 5A semifinal Friday at John Hunt Park in Huntsville at 1 p.m.

Also scoring for Briarwood Tuesday was Rachael Jones on a corner kick from Lindsey Sillers, and two unassisted goals from Ashleigh Cutcliffe and AK Hall.

Following the girls’ game, the Briarwood boys blanked Sylacauga, 4-0.

Josh Park came off the bench to score the first goal for the Lions on an assist from Cooper Harrington. Harrington scored an unassisted goal for the second score, while Park followed for goal No. 3 and Harrington again on the fourth goal. Alexander Faulk and Jeremy Box both had assists.

“Jeremy has done this a lot this season, to come in and provide good energy into the game. He works tremendously hard,” Briarwood co-head coach Andrew Brower said. “Cooper is probably the most athletic kid on the field. His athleticism adds a quality that is hard to match up against.”

Briarwood (17-4-4) advances to play St. Paul’s at 3 p.m. Friday in Huntsville. The Lions are looking to raise the state trophy again after being beat by John Carroll in last year’s final.

“Our goal is to be at the championship, but we can’t look past Friday. While the temptation is there to look past, we can’t do that. Each game is a one-game tournament,” Brower said.