Indian Springs falls to No. 1 Montgomery Academy in Final Four
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
HUNTSVILLE – As one of the top-three teams in the state this season, Indian Springs’ girls soccer team found itself in a Final-Four matchup of the AHSAA state playoffs held at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park on Thursday, May 10, but had to get through Montgomery Academy, the No. 1 team in the state, in order to advance to the championship game—something that proved to be a tall task.
In the first two minutes of the game, both teams swapped good looks with Montgomery Academy just missing a goal after getting into the box, while Springs got into the box, but couldn’t get a shot off.
For the next 78 minutes, however, the game belonged to Montgomery Academy, who scored five unanswered goals in the first half and six more in the second half with just one from Springs to win by a mercy-rule final of 11-1.
Despite the outcome for Indian Springs, it was a valuable learning experience for a young team that will return several players to next year’s squad. The team still showed that it was one of the best four teams in the state, which is a positive to take into the 2018 season.
The Eagles of Montgomery Academy came out with a strong presence in the game and showed why they were considered the No. 1 team in the 1A-3A rankings and a favorite to win the state title.
Just 10 minutes into the game, the Eagles had asserted their pressure and put several shots on goal after controlling the ball in the Indian Springs zone for the majority of that time.
It was a pressure that had proven itself as taxing on Springs early in the game. Finally, 12 minutes in, Montgomery Academy capitalized on its many opportunities when Leighton Robertson was able to crossover the defender, get into the box and fire an easy goal into the upper 90 to put the Eagles on top 1-0.
Over the next four minutes, Montgomery Academy put two more shots on goal and wasn’t letting down on its attacking style. It was just two minutes later that the Eagles posted their second goal when Tara Katz put another shot high into the left side of the net.
Over the next 10 minutes, Indian Springs got two chances, but Montgomery Academy still controlled the ball for the most part in the Springs zone.
The rest of the way into the halftime break was all Eagles.
Brooke Horn added two goals, one with 9:46 left in the period and the other with 5:38 left in the period, to put Montgomery Academy on top 4-0. The Eagles went on to add one more goal with 3:53 left in the period to take a commanding 5-0 break into the half.
Needing a spark to start the second period, Indian Springs got the opposite when Montgomery Academy added its sixth goal within the first seven minutes of the period getting underway.
With 33:37 still left in the game, Springs needed some aggressive play and on the ensuing kick-off, Logan McFadden (one of just four seniors on the team), asserted herself into an aggressive role. She took the ball and quickly sprinted up field to eventually create a breakaway and get a one-on-one goal against the keeper to put Indian Springs on the board just a few seconds after falling behind 6-0.
With all of the energy Springs had exerted defending its zone, they just couldn’t regain enough to pull off a comeback, however, as Montgomery Academy went on to score five more unanswered goals in the half.
Indian Springs ended the season with an overall record of 14-5 and will return 15 of its 19 players to next year’s squad.