No. 2 Oak Mountain hands No. 1 Vestavia first loss
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
NORTH SHELBY – The Oak Mountain Eagles proved just how dangerous they can be this year on Thursday, March 12, when they squared off in a top-two battle with No. 1 Vestavia Hills and picked up a dominant 4-0 victory.
With the win, Oak Mountain not only remained unbeaten with a 12-0-1 record, but the Eagles handed the Rebels their first loss of the season with ease.
To that point, Oak Mountain’s only blemish on the record was a 1-1 tie with Huntsville, while Vestavia hadn’t tied or lost heading into the game.
Early on, it looked like the two teams were set for a typical defensive battle between two very talented teams, but that quickly changed thanks to Kierson McDonald.
The stellar freshman went on to score two goals in the first half to help the Eagles take a 2-0 lead into the break.
After a defensive slugfest for the first 24:30 of the game, McDonald finally found an opening on a free kick from 30-plus yards out with 15:20 left in the half. She took advantage with a beautiful kick that found the back of the net for a 1-0 Oak Mountain lead.
That score remained in place for the majority of the final 15 minutes, but with 1:37 to play in the period, McDonald found herself with another golden opportunity.
In another free kick attempt from 30-plus yards out, the freshman was able to burry another shot into the back of the net to send the Eagles into the half up 2-0.
With Oak Mountain attacking hard throughout the second part of the first half, it led to those opportunities, which is something that continued into the second half.
While the first 15 minutes went by scoreless, with Oak Mountain’s defense playing lights out, the Eagles got a goal from Hallie Campbell to put them in front 3-0.
With less than 25 minutes to play and Oak Mountain’s defense playing as well as it was, that was a comfortable lead to have.
It got even more comfortable with 11:01 to play when Danielle Retief got in on the scoring by burying another shot into the back of the net, which put the Eagles in front by an insurmountable lead of 4-0.
Coming into the matchup, Vestavia hadn’t given up more than one goal in any game and had shut out 10 of its 14 opponents. The Eagles, however, found a way to exploit the Rebels’ defense, which led to the win.
Offensively, Vestavia Hills had scored in every game this year and had scored 49 total goals, but the Eagles were able to shut the Rebels out for the first time.
Oak Mountain has now shut out eight opponents and has given up no more than one goal in any game this season.