Spain Park unlucky in Metro tournament championship game

Published 6:12 pm Saturday, March 27, 2010

Forgive Spain Park High School girls’ soccer coach Robert Starr if he feels like if his Jaguars didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all.

The defending Class 6A champions fought through existing bumps and bruises as they won three games in a four day stretch to advance to the championship game of the Metro tournament.

They suffered two more injuries in the title game against Vestavia Hills, which played a role in the Jaguars’ 2-1 overtime loss March 27 to the Rebels at Hoover High School.

“We’ve just had a lot of fluke stuff really,” Starr said. “It kind of caught up to us.”

Spain Park senior midfielder Alex Little scored a goal with just over 25 minutes left in the first half to give the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.

The Rebels scored a goal early in the second half to tie the game at 1-1 and injuries to two Spain Park players minutes later hurt the Jaguars’ chances of a comeback.

Junior forward Annalika Steyn suffered a bruised rib following a foul by a Vestavia Hills player with nearly 32 minutes left in the contest. Junior forward Courtney Newton injured her right arm with just over 21 minutes remaining in the game.

Neither Steyn nor Newton returned to the game.

The Jaguars (13-3-1) battled and kept the game scoreless for the remainder of regulation. Vestavia Hills scored the game-winning goal with 3:40 left in overtime.

Starr said the fact that his players were playing their fifth game in four days and second game of the day left the Jaguars without much energy.

“Everybody gets tired from playing a lot of games and the athleticism goes away a little bit,” Starr said. “We knew it would be a tough game. We’ve played them three times now and all of them have been close.”

Steyn, Lauren Arnold and Madeline Hughes were selected for the Metro all-tournament team.

A.K. Hall and Sara Sweltzer of Briarwood Christian, along with Molly Cline of Thompson, were also named to the all-tournament team.

Oak Mountain boys fall in Metro tournament semifinals

The Oak Mountain boys fell 1-0 to John Carroll Catholic in the semifinals of the Metro tournament March 27.

The Eagles fell to 8-1 overall with the loss. William Glass and Daniel Wolfe were named to the Metro all-tournament team.

Jared McKinney of Thompson, Saul Arceo of Pelham, Jack O’Neil of Spain Park and David Blackmon of Briarwood Christian were also selected for the all-tournament team.