Oak Mountain boys fall to Vestavia in soccer championship game

Published 7:37 pm Saturday, May 11, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM/For the Reporter

Losing happens. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard a team fights, what amount of guts are put on display or how much heart a group of players show, they just come up short.

Which is precisely what happened to the Oak Mountain boys soccer team in the AHSAA 6A State Championship game, as they fell to Vestavia Hills, 1-0 in penalty kicks; they just simply came up a little short in the end.

Flash gallery not showing up? Click here for photographer Jon Goering’s photos from the game.

The game itself was a tense defensive struggle, as both teams spent most of their time around the midfield, with neither gaining a decisive offensive advantage despite the Rebels outshooting the Eagles 10-0 in the first half.

Both squads were able to counter each other’s strength, as Oak Mountain’s speed met Vestavia physicality head on. After two halves that several missed opportunities for both teams, the two again struggled to get any advantage through two overtime periods.

The game moved to penalty kicks, which saw the entire game come down to a matter of inches. After Oak Mountain’s Keegan McQueen netted the first shot of the shootout, Vestavia’s Taylor Strange shot was clipped in a great diving play by Eagle keeper Brad Louis, but not enough to keep it out of the goal.

The teams traded goals until Rebel goaltender Marvin Castellanos blocked an Oak Mountain shot, and following an Eagle miss, the Rebels were able to put it into the net to win the best-of-five shootout, 4 shots made to 2, leaving the Eagles empty handed.

“It’s tough to pick those guys up,” said Coach Ryan Patridge. “You just try to pick them up, and get them to realize it’s not the end of the world, even though for a lot of them it seems like it is. Those 11 seniors have had a heck of a run, with three state championship appearances, one championship and two runner ups.”

Patrick Carroll and Chandler Stroupe led the team with 2 shots a piece. Louis finished with eight saves for the Eagles.