Oak Mountain takes down Tennessee’s Baylor, remains undefeated

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

FORT PAYNE – The Oak Mountain Eagles faced another out-of-state challenge to their perfect record when they squared off with the Baylor Red Raiders out of Tennessee on Saturday, April 13 at the Fort Payne Sports Complex.

In the end, the Eagles walked away with a 4-0 victory to extend their unbeaten run to 23 games by improving their record to 22-0-1.

After the conclusion of area play on Tuesday, April 9 with its second victory of the season over Spain Park, Oak Mountain’s focus shifted to maintaining its undefeated record through the final four matches of the season.

Part of that included this crucial test against Baylor, the Eagles’ fifth and final out-of-state opponent of the season, which presented Oak Mountain with another chance to bolster its case for the national title. The Eagles currently sit at No. 2 in MaxPreps’ spring national rankings.

Oak Mountain started the first half strong with a pair of goals and kept the Red Raiders out of the back of the net to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Not satisfied with just that effort though, the Eagles continued to take the fight to Baylor in the second half.

Oak Mountain doubled up its lead before the end of the match by scoring another pair of goals to go up 4-0.

The Eagles held the Red Raiders scoreless the rest of the way to secure the clean sheet and the 4-0 victory.

Nate Joiner led the way for the offense with another hat trick. Gerardo Rodriguez scored the other goal for Oak Mountain, and Harrison Kilgore, Sam Collins and Sam Laney each contributed an assist in the match.

Joiner led the team with five shots, including four on target counting his three goals. Rodriguez had three shots and two on goal and Roy Soldevilla and Aidan Riley each ended the game with two shots apiece.

Alexander Chaide-Cruz secured the shutout win without needing to make a save in his 80 minutes in goal.

The Eagles will face Hoover in their next match in a potential playoff preview on Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at Hoover High School.