Spain Park scores late goal in win over Hewitt to clinch playoff berth
Published 12:38 pm Wednesday, April 19, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
TRUSSVILLE – Needing a win to officially clinch a playoff spot, the Spain Park Jaguars picked up a thrilling win over Hewitt-Trussville on the road Tuesday, April 18.
In a tie game, with less than five minutes to play, the Jaguars, who had never trailed in the game, took one last shot that ultimately made the difference.
It came from freshman Kayden Sheats, who took a ball from Tatum Ahlemeyer on the free kick just at the edge of the box and slid it into the left side of the net to give the Jags a 2-1 lead with three minutes to play.
From there, the Jags relied on their defense to close out the game, which has been strong all season. Hewitt couldn’t find any late heroics, as the Jaguars walked away with the playoff-clinching win.
Spain Park officially walked away from area play with a 5-1 record, falling only to Oak Mountain in a 3-1 game that ultimately determined the area champion after the Jags also beat the Eagles earlier in the season 1-0.
Against Hewitt, it was a battle of the defenses early in the game, as neither team could find much offensive success. That led to a 0-0 game at the halftime break
The second half, however, made up for the lack of offense in the opening period with a thrilling back-and-forth battle.
Spain Park was able to gather the advantage within the first 10 minutes of the second half as team leader Tatum Ahlemeyer buried a shot in the back of the net to make it 1-0.
The Huskies, however, wasted no time responding, scoring three minutes later on a goal from senior Ella Allen.
Knotted at 1-1, it looked like the two teams were destined for overtime, but Spain Park was able to create some late pressure, which led to the opportunity of a free kick at the edge of the box for Ahlemeyer.
Her kick made its way to Sheats, who scored the game-winning goal and sent the Jags into the postseason.
Spain Park is now 11-3-2 on the season and finished area play 5-1 with the playoffs on the horizon.