Oak Mountain girls down Hewitt to claim area championship, boys add OT win
Published 4:36 pm Monday, April 17, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
NORTH SHELBY – The Oak Mountain High School fan base had reason to celebrate on Friday, April 24, as the girls soccer team picked up a thrilling win to claim the area championship and the boys did the same to finish area play undefeated.
All of the excitement took place on senior night, as the Eagles honored their seniors with a 1-0 PK win in the girls game and a 1-0 overtime win on the boys side.
The girls, who got the primetime game with the significance of the matchup, were able to outlast the Huskies in a hard-fought game that saw both teams play incredible defense paired with strong goalkeeping.
Kate Murray, the team’s senior keeper, had a big night in goal, staving off several shots, including a couple of outstretched saves to keep the game scoreless in regulation.
That eventually set up overtime, which also went by scoreless, ending up in penalty kicks to determine the winner.
The Eagles proceeded to get goals from Kierson McDonald, Ava Fields, Erika Patrick and Aaron Pretnar in penalty kicks, while Murray stepped up with a huge save to give Oak Mountain a 4-3 difference in penalty kicks for the victory that cemented the team’s area championship.
With the win, the Eagles won their fifth consecutive game and improved to 5-1 in the area to claim the area title. They earned that opportunity by beating Spain Park 3-1 in their last outing to earn the tiebreaker between the two and then downing the Huskies to claim the title without having to wait and see how Spain Park finishes area play.
Oak Mountain’s girls are now 17-2 on the season and have given up one goal or less in every game this season with shutouts in 13 of the 19 games played this season.
As for the boys, they had already locked up the area championship, but the team still had plenty to play for with a perfect area record on the line.
Taking to the field in the early matchup, Oak Mountain’s defense shined bright as it has most of the season.
The Eagles attempted to wear down the Huskies on that end of the game, but Hewitt continued trucking along, bringing a strong defensive effort to the table themselves.
Neither team could find the back of the net in either of the first two halves, leading to the first of two overtime games on the night.
Oak Mountain’s boys, however, didn’t need penalty kicks thanks to Garrett Murphy. The senior leader for the Eagles capitalized on his third shot of the game by burying into the back of the net for an overtime goal and 1-0 win.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 17-2-2 on the season and 6-0 overall. The defense has given up two goals or less in every game and one goal or less in all but three games with 10 shutouts on the season.
Both will now gear up for home matchups in the first round of the playoffs once the regular season comes to an end.