Oak Mountain girls pick up revenge win in area battle with rival Spain Park
Published 12:57 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
HOOVER – Following a 1-0 loss to Spain Park in the playoffs last year to end their season and another 1-0 loss to the Jaguars on March 21 of this year to drop their only area loss so far, the Oak Mountain Eagles entered Tuesday, April 11 determined for a different result.
Taking on Spain Park in the final area matchup between the two this season, the Eagles needed a victory to keep their hopes of an area championship alive, and they got the revenge they were looking for to do just that.
With a big first half that showcased their motivation, the Eagles piled on three goals to build a 3-0 lead at the break and went on to hold on from there for a 3-1 victory.
Oak Mountain improved to 4-1 in area play with the win, and also earned the tiebreaker advantage over the Jaguars due to goal differential should the two finish tied in the area standings.
With one area game against Hewitt-Trussville left on the area schedule for the Eagles, that became crucial with the Jags still set for challenging games against Hewitt and Chelsea to finish area play over the next two weeks.
The Eagles were able to play with early confidence, as their motivation quickly gave them an advantage.
Less than two minutes into the game, Ava Fields was able to find the back of the net to give Oak Mountain a 1-0 lead with 38:25 left in the first half.
From there, the game settled in over the next 19 minutes, but with 19:43 to play in the half, Lily Ann Neumann really gave the Eagles confidence with her lone goal of the night making it 2-0.
Just a few minutes later, Oak Mountain earned a free kick with 12:11 to play in the opening period. Already up 2-0, Kierson McDonald stepped up and built the lead to three with a long goal from just inside the midfield line.
That put the Eagles on top 3-0 at the break with a defense that had given up no more than one goal the entire season.
With that confidence, Oak Mountain relied on its defense to protect the lead in the second half, and while the Jags did match their total from the first game with one goal off the foot of Tatum Ahlemeyer with 4:53 to play, the deficit was too large against the top-notch defense.
The Eagles are now 16-2 overall with their two losses coming in 1-0 games against Vestavia Hills and Spain Park. They have now given up one goal or less in every game and have posted nine shutouts in their 18 games.
Spain Park is now 10-3-2 overall with games against Hewitt-Trussville on April 18 and Chelsea on April 25 determining their playoff fate.