Jags down Oak Mtn. fourth time

Playing a strong rival two times in one season is tough, now imagine five times. Spain Park High School was caught on its heels Tuesday night, falling behind 1-0 to Oak Mountain, but the Jags rallied to win the fifth meeting between the two this season, 4-1.

“I knew eventually, at some point, we would pick it up. It was just when would it be and would it be too late,” Spain Park head coach Jonathan Weimer said.

Erin Fondren gave Oak Mountain a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute of play, but Annalika Steyn responded late in scored a hat trick on the night to lead Spain Park, tying the game 1-1 before the half on a header off a Kayla Klump corner kick. She added a penalty kick and breakaway goal in the second half to distance the Jaguars’ lead, 3-1. Brittany Vanderburg, who assisted Steyn’s third goal, received help from Klump in the 77th minute to score Spain Park’s fourth goal.

The win ended Oak Mountain’s season, keeping the Eagles out of the state tournament in Huntsville.

“They’re the best team in the state right now. It’s unfortunate that we had to meet up again so soon. We’d have to beat them now or beat them later,” Oak Mountain head coach Kelly Clayton said.

Oak Mountain won the Lakeshore Shootout in February with a 2-0 victory over Spain Park, since then, the Jags have downed Oak Mountain four times. Hoover is the only other team to beat the Eagles (16-5-1).

“They deserved to be in Huntsville this weekend. They’re one of the top teams, and. It’s unfortunate of how the areas are done,” Weimer said. “Kelly has done a great job with the girls this year. You hate to see it. They had five loses this season and four of those loses are to us. That would have been hard for me if we’d been on the opposite side.”

Spain Park will meet Grissom in the semifinal Friday at 5 p.m. in Huntsville. The two closed the regular season against each other, ending in a tie.