Nate Joiner scores four as Oak Mountain rolls past Hewitt-Trussville in area opener

Published 9:51 am Monday, February 26, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – The No. 1-ranked Oak Mountain Eagles continued their dominant start to the season thanks to the continued dominance of their joint-leading goal scorer Nate Joiner.

The senior fired four goals into the net of the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies to earn the 5-1 win on Friday, Feb. 23 at Oak Mountain High School to open area play.

After scoring in the Eagles’ 2-0 win at reigning 6A state champion Homewood on Tuesday, Joiner started out strong with the first goal of the game to give Oak Mountain the 1-0 lead.

He doubled up in the 18th minute after receiving a cross from the right side of the box to put the ball into the back of the net.

While the next stretch of the game came and went without any strong chances, the Eagles continued to control the ball in the attacking half to keep Hewitt-Trussville from gaining any momentum.

Oak Mountain capitalized on that time of possession in the 32nd minute when Roy Soldevilla scored the third goal of the night, which increased the lead to 3-0.

The Huskies briefly found an opening with a breakaway in the 35th minute but it led to an easy save for the Eagles, and the hosts went to the half with the three-goal lead.

Oak Mountain continued to press the advantage in the second half with three solid shots in the first five minutes of the half.

In the 49th minute, Joiner made a run at goal to complete the hat trick, but the shot at the goal line went across the net on the ground and out of bounds.

The Eagles continued to win set pieces and create opportunities in the open field to have the majority of the offensive chances. However, they wouldn’t score the next goal.

After the match went without another goal until the 69th minute, Hewitt-Trussville won a free kick and took the shot direct onto goal. The ball bent perfectly into the right side of the net for the Huskies’ first goal of the game and made the score 3-1.

Almost immediately afterwards, Oak Mountain had the perfect opportunity to respond after drawing a penalty inside the box. Joiner lined up to take the penalty kick and calmly converted it for his third goal in the match, giving him the hat trick and reclaiming a three-goal lead.

Luke Jovonovich forced a save on a direct free kick with seven minutes left, but shortly after, Hewitt’s second yellow card of the night yielded another free kick opportunity.

This time, the Eagles found Joiner in front of goal, and he put the shot past the keeper to make it four goals for himself and five for his team to close out the 5-1 area win.

Alex Taylor, Gerardo Rodriguez, Om Shrestha and Harrison Kilgore each had an assist on Oak Mountain’s four goals from the open field. Joiner converted all four of his shots on goal and four of his five shots overall in the match.

With the win, the Eagles improved to 8-0 and will look to extend that winning streak on Tuesday, Feb. 27 against Prattville.