Oak Mountain girls edge Hoover

Published 9:28 am Monday, March 14, 2016

Oak Mountain's Hailey Whitaker tries to beat a Hoover defender to the ball during the Lady Eagles' 1-0 win on March 10. (Reporter Photo / Baker Ellis)

Oak Mountain’s Hailey Whitaker tries to beat a Hoover defender to the ball during the Lady Eagles’ 1-0 win on March 10. (Reporter Photo / Baker Ellis)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – After losing for the first time in the 2016 season on March 5 to McGill-Toolen by a 2-1 final, the Oak Mountain Lady Eagles responded on the pitch with an easy 11-0 win over resident area doormat Tuscaloosa County. After the win over Tuscaloosa County, Oak Mountain faced off against Hoover on March 10 in the first true test since the March 5 loss. The Lady Eagles responded with a 1-0 win over the Lady Bucs to move to 8-1-0 and stay perfect in area play.

After 20 minutes of scoreless action, Oak Mountain’s Julia Pack broke through the Hoover defense and fired a strike past the Hoover keeper to take a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute of the game. The Eagles had a number of chances early, and could have easily been up 3-0 going into the half, but could only manage the one goal from Pack. In the 29th minute, Pack sent a beautiful cross into Monica Thrasher, who put her head on the ball, but couldn’t finish the chance, and the Lady Eagles led 1-0 at the half.

The Lady Bucs came out on the offensive at the start of the second half, and in the 44th minute Hoover had a great combination of passes in the Oak Mountain defensive third, but couldn’t get a good look at the goal.

In the 59th minute, Oak Mountain had a free kick opportunity from inside 25 yards, and Nealy Martin made the Hoover keeper work for the save, but couldn’t push her offering into the back of the net. Both teams traded chances throughout the res of the second half, but neither could gain any ground over the other, and Oak Mountain won 1-0.

With 15 minutes remaining in the game, the ominous skies opened up and began pouring water onto the field. In the wet conditions, Hoover had potentially the best chance of the day in the final minute of the game. Oak Mountain’s Hailey Whitaker, a forward, slipped on the wet turf in the 79th minute playing defense as a Hoover forward turned toward goal. Alyssa Vess, the Oak Mountain keeper, came out to challenge the shot and gobbled the ball up, securing the win in the process.