Hadley Eddins’ double overtime goal lifts Oak Mountain past Hewitt-Trussville

Published 10:18 am Saturday, February 24, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – With time winding down in overtime of their first area match of the season on Friday, Feb. 23, the tension escalated at Oak Mountain High School for every minute that passed without a goal.

The first 88 minutes of the match between the Oak Mountain Eagles and Hewitt-Trussville Huskies didn’t yield a single goal even with the momentum trading hands throughout and leading to multiple chances for each side.

But when the tension was at its highest, Hadley Eddins stepped up with a shot that sailed across the box and into the back of the net to secure the 1-0 victory in double overtime with an 89th minute goal.

While the first half came and went without a goal, it wasn’t for a lack of action as both teams had solid runs of momentum.

Just two minutes into the game on Oak Mountain’s first corner of the game, Hewitt-Trussville’s keeper went down with an injury and needed to be replaced.

The Eagles quickly tested the Huskies defense with another corner and multiple breakaway runs but couldn’t come up with anything significant.

The best chance for Oak Mountain in the opening 10 minutes came from a corner kick cross that hit the outside of the near post.

After an Eagles free kick in the 17th minute came up empty, Hewitt-Trussville flipped the momentum with a breakaway chance. While the Huskies also couldn’t make anything of it, the play kicked off a stretch of chances for the visitors.

Within a three-minute stretch from Hewitt-Trussville, it headed a corner kick cross over the goal and got off a pair of shots that forced saves from Ella Holt.

Oak Mountain then strung together multiple crosses over the next five minutes that tested the Huskies defense but still didn’t find the back of the net.

Hewitt-Trussville then went on another run of momentum starting with a shot that curled over the top of the crossbar, a pair of corner kicks and a shot that went wide in the span of four minutes.

Saves from each team closed out the half as the Eagles and Huskies entered the break in a scoreless tie.

After failing to connect with many passes up top for much of the first half, Oak Mountain found better chances in the second 40 minutes, albeit with less frequency.

Three minutes into the half, the Eagles sent in a corner kick that trickled out towards midfield, but the second effort came up empty.

Two minutes later, Oak Mountain’s young striker Kati Anne Shepherd shot towards goal but was saved as the ball went out for a throw.

Shepherd factored into the offense again in the 56th minute after the referee gave Hewitt-Trussville the first yellow card of the evening. She took the free kick direct and made a good effort despite her deep position, but the shot missed to the left.

Whitaker put a shot towards goal in the 60th minute that rolled to a save, and five minutes later, Bethany Ayala’s shot inside the box was blocked.

The Eagles’ momentum continued to build from there was Hewitt-Trussville had to make a pair of saves, but the best chance of the game was yet to come.

With eight minutes left, Reagan Whitaker made a run inside the box and made the Huskies keeper dive towards her for the save and missed. That gave Whitaker a golden opportunity to score, but she couldn’t put the ball on target with Hewitt’s defense close by.

Shepherd had a breakaway three minutes later that didn’t lead to a shot but fit in the theme of the final minutes of the game being fast-paced and tightly contested.

In the end, though, neither team could find the back of the net and went into overtime in search of the game-winning goal.

The pace significantly slowed for the first overtime period as a Huskies breakaway shortly after the start was the only chance of the five-minute extra period, and that was cleared by the Eagles.

However, the tempo picked back up for the second overtime, and in the 87th minute of the game, Oak Mountain had a chance saved by Hewitt-Trussville as it sought a winner.

The Eagles would shortly get that goal it was searching for.

With less than two minutes left in overtime, Eddins received a pass on the right side of the box and wasted little time in getting a shot off.

She sent the shot sailing past the keeper and into the top left corner, ending the game and kicking off the celebration as Oak Mountain earned the 1-0 win.

With the victory, the Eagles improve to 7-1-1 on the season and can now claim a 1-0 area record.

Oak Mountain will return to action on Monday, Feb. 26 with another tough 7A test against Bob Jones at 7 p.m. at home.