OMHS girls start season with dominant win against No. 5 Spain Park

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, February 12, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

NORTH SHELBY – After last year’s first-round exit from the Class 7A soccer playoffs, Oak Mountain’s girls felt like they left some unfinished business on the field, something that propelled them into opening night of the 2019 season on Monday, Feb. 11, against No. 5 Spain Park.

With the Eagles ranked No. 4 in the classification, it was set to be a strong top-five battle between the two teams to kick start the new season, but Oak Mountain’s carried over momentum fueled a dominant effort that ended with an 8-1 victory over its rival.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, Lane Hope got the season started off on a positive note for the Eagles with the first goal of the game, and that opened the flood gates.

Over the next seven minutes of play, Danielle Retief introduced herself to the season with back-to-back goals, the second of which was assisted by Nicole Payne, who is one of the fastest soccer players in the state and is primed for a strong season herself.

Retief’s first goal came just four minutes after Hope found the back of the net, and then she added the second just three minutes later to give Oak Mountain a 3-0 advantage less than 20 minutes into the game.

The quick strikes kept coming from the Eagles, as Emmi Long scored her first goal of the season, and first of two on the night, a minute later to put her team up 4-0 midway through the opening period.

Scoring quieted down for a while after that, but with three minutes left in the half, Payne beat the Spain Park defense to bury her first goal of the season to put Oak Mountain’s fifth goal of the half on the board, leading to a 5-0 advantage at the break.

It took a while for things to get going again in the second half, as the halftime break seemed to cool off the Eagles’ offense.

Eventually that changed, however, when Long rolled in her second goal of the game close to 20 minutes into the second half.

Spain Park was able to add one goal in the half, but thanks to a deep effort from the Eagles, two more members of the team scored down the stretch, including Haley Wells and Aubrey Gaut.

Long and Retief both had two goals to lead Oak Mountain, while six different players scored in all for the Eagles.