Eagles defeat Wildcats in playoffs

Oak Mountain High School forward Haley Gerken drives past a Tuscaloosa County defender in the Eagles' 10-0 victory in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs April 28. (Reporter Photo/Wesley Hallman)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY — Oak Mountain High School girls’ soccer coach Pete Dakis is completely fine with opponents underestimating his team during the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs.

If foes believe the Eagles are a player down without Toni Payne, who is concentrating on her training with the U.S.A. women’s soccer 17-and-under national team, Dakis knows better.

Tuscaloosa County, Oak Mountain’s first-round opponent, learned its lesson following a 10-0 shutout in the opening round April 28.

“We’ve played eight games without (Payne) and we scored 40 goals,” Dakis said. “We have a lot of girls that can play several positions.”

Greer Maddox, Haley Gerken, Shannon Markie and Bailee Harnett led the Eagles with two goals each in the victory.

Julianne Jackson and Vicki Hill scored one goal each in the win.

Harnett scored the Eagles’ first goal in the opening minute of the match.

Hill, Jackson, Gerken and Markie also contributed one goal each in the opening half.

Maddox scored Oak Mountain’s first two goals in the second half.

Gerken and Harnett added one goal each before Markie ended the match early with her goal with 18:49 remaining, which finished off the 10-0 victory.