Westminster boys pick up win against Briarwood

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The Westminster at Oak Mountain Knights took on a difficult schedule early in the 2021 soccer season and it’s starting to pay off.

The Knights hosted Briarwood in a ranked rivalry battle on Tuesday, March 30 for the first match for both since before spring break.

The No. 2 team in the Class 1A-3A standings, Westminster entered the matchup 6-1-2 on the season, but Briarwood had a classification advantage as the No. 6 team in Class 6A.

Westminster, however, wasn’t awestruck and came out ready to roll with a win streak on the line.

In less than two minutes, the Knights were able to tack on their first goal of the night when junior Luke Richardson buried a shot in the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.

Briarwood came right back with an answer nine minutes later when Dean Jones found an opening to put through an equalizer with 29:26 to play in the first half.

The back-and-forth start continued when Westminster added its second goal of the match 10 minutes later off a shot from Sam Eddins.

Shortly after, Webster Jackson made it two in a row when he found the back of the net with 14:08 left in the opening half to put the Knights in front 3-1.

That became the halftime score and Westminster had all the confidence after scoring two unanswered going into the break.

The momentum swing became too much to overcome as both teams tightened up defensively in the second half, giving up just one goal each to give the Knights a 4-2 win.

With the victory, Westminster won its fourth match in a row and improved to 7-1-2 on the season.

The Knights have won the last four by a combined 30-2 and have shut out six of their 10 opponents so far this season. They are also 2-0 in area play.

Westminster’s two ties came against Class 7A teams Thompson and Prattville, while the lone loss was to 7A James Clemens.

Briarwood started the season strong with six wins in a row, but the Lions have now lost four of their last six games.

In order to make the playoffs, Briarwood will have to take down Mountain Brook on April 6 and Chelsea on April 9, then hope for some help.