Briarwood boys’ soccer rolling to start season

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

NORTH SHELBY – Despite returning one of the strongest core of players of any county team in 2018 in a county that is soccer heavy, the Briarwood Lions’ boys soccer team got off to an average 2-2-1 start on the pitch.

With head coach Shawn Brower one win away from picking up his 400th of his career, the team finally kicked into a new gear with a 10-0 win over Woodlawn on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The win gave Brower his 400th career win coaching at the varsity level as he has been an integral part of a storied Briarwood soccer history that includes four state championships since 2001.

While the win was a special occasion for the head coach, he is probably more proud of what the win has sparked as the Lions have now put together a four-game win streak.

In that span they have scored 27 goals and given up just two goals, while posting three shutouts. The first of the three wins was a 10-0 victory over Woodlawn, followed by a 4-0 win over Chelsea and a 10-0 win over Shelby County, who is in the midst of its first soccer season.

Those two wins over Woodlawn and Shelby County gave Briarwood two area wins to improve their Class 5A, Area 8 record to 2-0.

The most recent win in that four-game win streak came on Thursday, March 1, when Briarwood was able to pick up its biggest win of the season against Class 7A No. 7 ranked Spain Park by a final score of 3-2.

SPHS was coming off an incredible run at the Island Cup in Gulf Shores where they posted a four-game win streak of their own and had a ton of confidence, but Briarwood was able to edge out the one-goal victory to improve to 6-2-1 on the season.

The game was tightly contested with Logan Frost firing a shot in for Briarwood in the first two minutes of the game, then Griffin Felton also adding a goal to give the Lions two and set up a 2-2 tie late.

Goalkeeper Grant Fielding as well as forward Jeffrey Neville ended up making a couple of clutch moves near the end of the game to pull off the 3-2 win.

Fielding made an impressive penalty kick save that could have kept Spain Park and possibly given them a win.

Instead, Neville was able to take advantage of the momentum swing and put home the go-ahead and game-winning goal to pull the Lions through and improve their overall record to 6-2-1.

Briarwood has another area matchup against Calera on Tuesday, March 6. The Eagles are currently 0-7 this season.