Oak Mountain girls’ soccer falls to Sparkman in 7A Semifinals

Published 6:07 pm Thursday, May 11, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HUNTSVILLE – The Oak Mountain Eagles gave it their all against the Sparkman Senators, but fell 1-0 in the Class 7A Semifinals on May 11 in Huntsville.

After a slow start to the game, Oak Mountain’s first big chance came at the 15th minute on a free kick that got saved by Sparkman.

Ten minutes later, Oak Mountain faced a Sparkman corner kick but were able to clear it away and fend off the chance.

The Eagles’ biggest run of the second half came just past the 35th minute when they tested Sparkman keeper Audrey Edwards on two shots. They also had a corner kick but before it went wide, the line judge blew it off for a foul.

Oak Mountain came into halftime with the momentum, and they kept it going in the second half with a direct free kick just four minutes into the period from Kierson McDonald that got saved.

Seven minutes later in the 51st minute, Sparkman broke the scoring open when Sofia Sasan found Chelsey Curtis for the opening goal.

Now down 1-0 and needing to equalize, the Eagles turned to set pieces and the counterattack to try and turn the tide. Oak Mountain saw two chances enter the box in a two-minute span at the 56th minute but neither effort made its way towards goal.

A big part of batting those chances away was the Sparkman defensive line. The Senators found clearances in crucial moments that helped stop any Eagles’ efforts in the box and kill the counterattack.

Despite kicking into the wind for the entire second half, Oak Mountain still sent in 12 shots and forced Edwards to make six saves. Edwards had eight saves over the full 80 minutes.

Sparkman still had their moments in the second half, including a crucial tackle in the 63rd minute that stopped a big breakaway with a clearance.

From there on, Oak Mountain kept creating chances. Within two minutes of each other, a loose ball in the box led to a one-on-one battle won by Edwards and a Raegan Whitaker breakaway that found the side of the net.

Oak Mountain’s 69th minute counterattack looked to be the last chance of the game as Sparkman settled in, but a booking came in the 79th minute and allowed for a big free kick.

The shot went over the bar, but a couple plays later, the Eagles put forward one more shot that got saved by Sparkman.

The Eagles outshot the Senators, 20-6, and were led by McDonald who had nine shots with three on goal. Whitaker and Haley Eddins each had three shots and Lily Ann Neumann and Juliet Williams had two each.

Sasan led the shots for Sparkman, with three shots to go with her assist.