Mountain Brook, Athens, Randolph Girls Win Titles
Join Vestavia Hills, Briarwood, Collinsville Boys As Soccer Champs
Mountain Brook, Athens and Randolph girls along with Vestavia Hills, Briarwood Christian and Collinsville boys captured AHSAA state soccer championships Saturday at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park. It marked the first titles for the Athens and Randolph girls and the Collinsville boys.
Class 6A Girls: Mountain Brook 2, Oak Mountain 0
The Mountain Brook Spartans scored two second-period goals, one on a header by Laura Rice and the other by Kayla Dowler, to defeat defending champion Oak Mountain 2-0 and take the Class 6A girls state crown.
The Spartans (18-1-2) had won three previous titles in 2008, 1995 and 1994.
Rice’s goal came off an assist from Jessica Wilson in the 46th minute. Dowler, named the tournament MVP, made her goal in the game’s 68th minute.
The Mountain Brook defenders allowed only three shots on goal by Oak Mountain (22-4-2).
Class 5A Girls: Athens 1, St. Paul's 0
Athens’ Ashley Ward scored the match’s only goal on a header off a corner kick from teammate Kate Morgan in the 16th minute as the Golden Eagles captured the Class 5A girls crown.
It was the first state title for Athens (17-7-3) in seven straight trips to Huntsville, including a runner-up finish last year.
Athens goalkeeper Tiffani Dunaway was named the MVP with five saves in the championship match. She got great support from the Golden Eagles’ defenders, who allowed only six shots on goal by St. Paul’s.
St. Paul’s (17-5-2), the 2009 champ, also got a great performance from goalkeeper’ Gracie Lester with six saves.
Class 1A-4A Girls: Randolph 1, Montgomery Academy 0
Randolph’s Abby Knowling scored the match’s only goal off an assist from Lauren Lackey in the 63rd minute and the Raiders survived two Montgomery Academy penalty kicks, the last with only one second remaining, to win the 1A-4A girls soccer state championship Saturday at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park.
Ironically, it was Knowling in goal for the Raiders (15-6-4) on the final penalty kick after starting goalkeeper Daria Zarzeka was ejected on the play that led to the penalty kick for Montgomery Academy (19-1-1). The kick sailed high over the goal as the final second ticked off the game clock.
Zarzeka’s diving save on an earlier Montgomery Academy penalty kick preserved Randolph’s 1-0 lead.
With the match scoreless early in the second period, Randolph’s Elizabeth Earles made an outstanding defensive play, sweeping in to boot away a point-blank Montgomery Academy shot after Zarzeka had been beaten.
Randolph’s Lackey was named the tournament’s MVP.
This second Randolph girls' title ended the two-year reign of Montgomery Academy.
Class 6A Boys: Vestavia Hills 1, Oak Mountain 0
Vestavia Hills goalkeeper Marvin Castellanos blocked one Oak Mountain kick in the overtime shootout and another missed wide while the Rebels did not miss any on the way to a 1-0 victory and the Class 6A boys championship.
The title is the first since 1995 for Vestavia Hills (29-1-1).
Castellanos, named MVP of the tournament, had three saves, including the key one in the overtime shootout.
Oak Mountain and Vestavia Hills each made their first two penalty kicks before Castellanos’ save. The Rebels made their third to go up and then made their fourth after the next Oak Mountain shot went wide.
The Rebels took 16 shots on goal. Brad Louis saved eight shots for Oak Mountain (21-3-1).
Class 5A Boys: Briarwood Christian 3, St. Paul's 0
Briarwood Christian’s Kyle Kimel had a goal and an assist during a five-minute stretch in the first period and the Lions went on to defeat St. Paul’s 3-0 to secure their fourth Class 5A boys championship.
The Lions (20-5-3) also won titles in 2001, 2004 and 2007.
Kimel, the tournament’s MVP, assisted on Grant Janich’s goal in the 24th minute to five the Lions the lead then took a pass from Conner Lee and scored in the 29th minute.
Janich scored Briarwood’s final goal off a pass from Salvatore Cuneo in the 66th minute.
A strong defensive effort anchored by goalkeeper Jordan Box shut down St. Paul’s. The Saints (16-9-3) attempted just seven shots on goal in the match.
Class 1A-4A Boys: Collinsville 4, Westminster of Oak Mountain 1
Collinsville scored three goals in the second period to break a 1-1 halftime tie and claimed the school’s first state soccer championship with a 4-1 victory over Westminster of Oak Mountain.
The Panthers (14-7-7) took the lead in the 42nd minute on Jorge Segura’s goal. Edgar Padilla followed with a goal in the 56th minute and Luis Segura got the final goal in the 79th minute.
Collinsville took the early lead on Moises Velasquez’s goal in the 27th minute, but Westminster of Oak Mountain’s Garrett Smith knotted the score with the Knights’ only goal in the 32nd minute.
Panther goalkeeper Adam Morales was named the MVP with three saves. The Knights (13-4-4) had 15 shots on goal.