Spain Park overcomes slow start to top Vestavia Hills in battle of top two teams

Published 5:08 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HOOVER – It was a tale of two halves for the No. 2 Spain Park Jaguars as they battled with the No. 1 team in the state, the Vestavia Hills Rebels, on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Spain Park High School.

After conceding the opening goal, Spain Park scored four straight goals to earn the 4-1 win and remain undefeated on the season.

The first 20 minutes were largely controlled by Vestavia Hills as it used its possession to pick up chances.

Spain Park didn’t go completely silent on offense as Reese Oldfield had a pair of solid chances on a cross that didn’t connect in the 10th minute and a shot from outside the box that landed atop the net in the 14th minute.

However, the Rebels struck first with a one-on-one chance in the 22nd minute. While Vestavia’s first chance was blocked, the rebound shot went into the net to give it a 1-0 lead.

From there, the Jags started shifting the tide and slowly but surely regained momentum.

That culminated in the 37th minute with Spain Park’s strongest chance of the game.

Oldfield broke away towards goal and opted for the short pass to the center of the box as she neared the goal line and drew the keeper towards her. However, just before the pass connected, the Rebels were a step quicker and deflected the ball into their own net.

That tied up the game heading into halftime and gave the Jags an opportunity to take the lead.

They did just that shortly into the second half.

With the momentum firmly on its side, Spain Park earned a solid scoring opportunity in the 45th minute but missed on the first opportunity.

However, Addy Soehn linked up with Oldfield on the second effort to give the Jags the go-ahead goal and a 2-1 lead.

The Jags forced a save on a corner kick in the 48th minute, but they would soon find the back of the net thanks to the one who helped make the second goal happen: Soehn.

She launched a shot from the left side of the field just outside the box that sailed into the top right corner of the net for a phenomenal long-range goal in the 50th minute which put her team up 3-1.

Lightning struck twice for Soehn as she hit another deep shot from the same area of the field to secure her brace and Spain Park’s fourth goal of the night.

The Jags continued to control the tempo and threaten with chances throughout the half, keeping Vestavia out of the back of the net with a smarter, more possession-oriented approach.

That style yielded better results as Spain Park secured the 4-1 victory and improved to 9-0.

The Jags will hope to use that victory to find success in their area play opener against Hewitt-Trussville on Friday, Mar. 1 at 5:30 p.m.