Spain Park’s Robert Starr reaches 300 career wins

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

HOMEWOOD – Robert Starr has had one of the more incredible coaching careers of any high school soccer coach in the state of Alabama and that career had another milestone added to it on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Having won three straight state championships from 2009-2011, Starr had already cemented himself as elite.

While three-peating is almost unheard of and is most likely one of the greatest highlights of Starr’s career, add two zeros to that number of three and you’ll find his latest accomplishment.

With a 5-0 road win against 6A No. 4 Homewood on Wednesday night, Spain Park not only picked up its fifth win in six games to start the new season, but the Jags earned Starr his 300th career win as a head coach.

After the final whistle was blown and the scoreboard read 5-0 in favor of the Jaguars, the girls surrounded star with a banner that had a white background and the number 300 right across the middle of the banner with Spain Park’s infamous light blue coloring.

You could instantly see the amount of joy it brought the team and how much respect they had for their head coach.

It not only showed after the game, but during the game as well as the Jaguars, especially junior Jasmine Greene, were playing with some clear extra motivation.

The first 17 minutes of the game were played quietly, but that changed drastically in the 23rd minute of the game.

Green was able to break away to put in her first goal of the night to put the Jags up 1-0 a little less than midway through the first half.

That was just the beginning for Greene and her Spain Park teammates.

It took less than five minutes for the ball to find Green’s foot again with open field in front of her. She eventually found the perfect shot and fired it into the back of the net for her second goal of the game to give the Jaguars a 2-0 advantage.

Spain Park’s defense kept the pressure up and continued to make the game difficult for Homewood, while the strong play on that end led to more opportunities on the offensive end of the floor.

Greene, now looking for a hat trick, was able to add her third goal of the first half and accomplish that task with seven minutes to go in the period as she gave the Jags a 3-0.

If you thought Greene was going to end the half with all three goals scored, you were mistaken, because just two minutes after she picked up her hat trick, Haley Greene got in on the action with an impressive PK goal to give Spain Park a 4-0 lead at the half.

That duo continued its strong play into the second half as did the defense.

The Jags’ defense was able to complete the shutout effort, while Haley Greene was able to find Jasmine Greene for a beautiful assist that gave Jasmine Greene her fourth goal of the game to create the final score of 5-0 and send the team into celebration mode with their head coach.

Spain Park has yet to give up more than one goal this season as its only loss of the season came at the hands of 6A No. 1 John Carroll by a final score of 1-0. The Jags have also pitched three shutouts in six games as the defense and goaltending has been superb.

Offensively Spain Park has matched the defensive side of the ball, scoring 10 goals in two games, five in two more and three in the other win.

That’s a total of 33 goals through six games, and an average of 5.5 goals per game to match the defense that is giving up just 0.5 goals per game.

While Starr was happy to celebrate with his team after the game, his eyes are clearly set on a state championship after what he has seen from his team early in the 2018 season.