Spain Park boys, girls pick up crucial area wins against Hewitt

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, April 20, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – In must-win games, Spain Park’s boys and girls soccer teams answered the bell on Tuesday, April 19 on their home turf.

Taking on Hewitt-Trussville in two area battles, both needed wins to keep pace in the race for a playoff spot, and both not only won, but did so with shutout performances.

The boys, who had no choice to but to win the game if they wanted to stay alive for a spot in the playoffs this year, posted their third shutout of the season in a 3-0 victory.

In what has been a tough season for the Jags, including an 11-game losing streak and a 1-13-1 start to the season, they have found recent success with a 3-1-1 record over their last four games.

Hitting their stride at the right time, they improved to 2-3 in area play with one matchup left against Hewitt-Trussville on the road on April 25.

If the defending state champions can win that matchup, they’ll earn a playoff spot, while a loss would end their run toward repeating as 7A state champs.

But in this first battle against the Huskies, the defense was able to bounce back from giving up seven goals in a 7-1 loss to Vestavia Hills seven days earlier by posting a shutout.

That allowed the Jaguars to build a 2-0 advantage at the half thanks to two first-half goals from Jad Hakim.

He scored the first in the first eight minutes of the match, giving the Jags a 1-0 lead at the 32:50 mark, while he then added another one 10 minutes later to make it 2-0 with 22:17 left in the first half.

That lead held strong up to the halftime break, while the Jags continued a torrid defensive effort in the second half.

With the strong defensive effort, Spain Park was able to cement the win in the second half when Hakim found Caidan Devlin on the breakaway with eight minutes left for what became the third and final goal in a 3-0 shutout victory.

The girls, who didn’t have to have a win but would find themselves in much better shape with one, were able to continue a special season as the No. 4 team in Class 7A.

In a game that was quiet for the most part, the Jaguars broke a scoreless tie in the final 10 minutes of the game when Sydney Soehn scored with 6:41 remaining.

With Hewitt-Trussville looking to find a late equalizer, it was Spain Park who was able to take advantage once again when Tatum Ahemeyer added an insurance goal with three minutes to play to give the Jags a 2-0 shutout victory.

With the win, Spain Park improved to 3-1 in area play with games left against Vestavia Hills on April 22 and Hewitt-Trussville on April 25.

A win against the Rebels would lock up a playoff spot for Spain Park. Should the Jaguars lose that game, a win or a 1-0 loss to the Huskies in the final game would be enough to get the Jags in as well.