Briarwood sweeps boys, girls soccer matches against Helena in area opener

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

NORTH SHELBY – After having to wait a few more days than expected to kick off area play after their match against Pelham was postponed due to storms, the Briarwood Christian Lions kicked off area play with wins over the Helena Huskies.

The varsity boys took a 2-0 victory and the varsity girls walked away with the win in a spirited 5-3 battle on Tuesday, March 12 at Briarwood Christian School.

The No. 6-ranked boys entered Tuesday’s primetime showdown with a 6-4 record after testing themselves in the run up to area play against many difficult opponents.

However, their impressive defensive record was put to the test in their last two matches against undefeated 6A No. 1 Mountain Brook and 7A Chelsea.

The Lions fell 2-1 to the top-ranked Spartans before losing 3-0 to Chelsea, tying the most goals and widest margin of defeat they suffered all season.

Briarwood entered the match against Helena looking to reclaim its defensive form and its winning ways in the process, and it did just that.

The Lions kicked off area play strong by scoring the opening goal of the game, getting the early leg up on the Huskies in the process, and they didn’t look back from there.

Briarwood doubled up its advantage to lead 2-0 and take a commanding lead over the visitors.

On the other end of the pitch, the Lions backline rediscovered their lockdown form. They held Helena scoreless throughout the entire match to earn their sixth clean sheet of the season and the first since Feb. 26.

In the end, Briarwood walked away with the 2-0 win to go 1-0 in area play and improve to 7-4 on the season.

Before that, the No. 7-ranked varsity girls looked to continue their improved recent form.

After taking three straight losses to a trio of tough opponents in 6A No. 1 Mountain Brook, 7A No. 1 Spain Park and 7A Sparkman, the Lions went undefeated in the three matches leading into their area opener.

Briarwood drew with John Carroll Catholic, earned a 3-0 win over Altamont and went to a scoreless draw with Chelsea in its most recent outing.

Those results put the Lions at 3-4-3 on the season, and a win against Helena would even up the win and loss columns at four apiece.

On the other side, the Huskies were riding high after their first win over Indian Springs in program history and sat at 1-0 in area play as a result.

Briarwood came out of the gate strong with a pair of first half goals to establish itself as the early favorite in the matchup.

The Lions also held the Helena offense quiet throughout the first 40 minutes to go into halftime leading 2-0.

While the first half only yielded two goals, the second half saw much more action from both sides.

Helena broke through with three goals in the last 40 minutes. Kate Hendrix, Ashlynn Beery and Baileigh Rumage all found the back of the net as the Huskies tried to close the gap.

However, Briarwood matched their effort with three goals of their own in the second half, holding on to its two-goal lead at the end of the match.

That sealed the 5-3 win for the Lions to give them the victory in their area opener.

The Briarwood varsity boys will make their way to Tennessee for the Smoky Mountain Cup as they will play three games from March 14-16 against out-of-state opponents.

As for the varsity girls, they will host their rearranged fixture against Pelham on Friday, March 15 at 6 p.m. The varsity boys will play at home against the Panthers on Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. to make up for the rainout.