Briarwood continues impressive season with road win at Spain Park
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
HOOVER – With just one loss through 15 games this season, the Briarwood Christian Lions are a solid No. 1 team in Class 5A, and their impressive run continued on Tuesday, April 2, with a 3-1 road win against the Spain Park Jaguars.
The Lions (12-1-2, 3-0), who finished the final week before spring break 1-1-1 with their first loss of the season, came out ready to go in their first game following a week off thanks to Braxton Tubbs.
Tubbs posted two first-half goals to lead the Lions to a 2-0 advantage at the half, before BCS put the game away with a third goal in the second half to stave off a Spain Park comeback attempt.
After a slow start to the game with both teams battling around midfield and trading possessions, Tubbs took the ball himself and gave Briarwood the lead for good.
He got the ball near the top of the box and split three defenders before firing a shot on goal that found the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage with 24:11 remaining in the opening period.
Following that goal, the defensive battle picked back up as both teams competed in a physical nature trying to get the next opportunity.
Briarwood still seemed to have an edge and was playing better during that time, however, and eventually the Lions were able to capitalize yet again.
With 3:36 left in the half, Spain Park turned the ball over in its own box and Tubbs was waiting to take advantage. He gathered the ball, again with several Jags surrounding him, and got a clear opening before quickly firing another rather easy shot into the back of the net from 17 yards out for a 2-0 advantage at the break.
Spain Park came out in the second half with a different attitude and energy, and while Briarwood wasn’t playing bad, the Jags were able to start stringing together some passes and finally sustained some possessions.
Less than five minutes into the period, Samuel Dieguez-Marino got one of the Jags’ best looks to that point in the game on a rebound opportunity, and he made it county burying a shot into the back of the net to cut Briarwood’s lead to 2-1.
From that point forward, however, the Lions locked down defensively.
A team that set the state record for most consecutive shutouts in a row this season with 10, Briarwood had only given up three combined goals through its 15 games this season and showed why the rest of the contest.
The Lions never gave the Jags another great chance, and eventually put an insurance goal in the back of the net to answer Spain Park’s lone goal in the game and pull away for the 3-1 victory.
Spain Park is now 4-7-2 overall and 1-1 in area play with losses in six of its last seven games, but the Jaguars have already shown they can compete in their difficult schedule as they continue to battle for a playoff spot in the coming weeks.