Four North Alabama schools fall in AHSAA State Soccer Championships | News







CLASS 4A/5A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP

Indian Springs 1, Russellville 0

HUNTSVILLE — Russellville High School uncorked 26 shots in Friday’s AHSAA 2022 Class 4A-5A Boys’ State Soccer Championship match.

Indian Springs goaltender Sims Tosh let none of them get past him as his team secured a 1-0 win over the Golden Tigers at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park. Tosh recorded 13 saves to earn the tournament MVP award and lead Indian Springs (21-2-5) to a second straight 4A-5A title.

“Sims is quite simply the best high school goalie you will ever see,” said Indian Springs coach Rik Tozzi. “I was a professional goalkeeper in England. The ball at his feet, his composure, his defence, his hands – he has it all. And he saved us quite a bit this year. It’s not the only game.”

Indian Springs’ Nathan Tozzi scored early in the first half and Tosh and the defense did the rest to hold off Russellville’s frantic Tigers.

Indian Springs defeated Montgomery Academy in a penalty shootout Thursday night in a game that ended around 9 p.m. Less than 24 hours later, Tozzi’s team was back on the field chasing another state title.

To cement the 1-0 lead, coach Tozzi said he changed his formation to what he called a ‘Christmas tree’ in the second half to counteract his team’s fatigue. That, in turn, allowed Russellville to keep attacking.

Each time, Tosh turned down the Golden Tigers.

“We won the big balls in the air. We challenged every ball hard and we were just going first every time,” said Tosh. “I’m just trying to play my game.”

Indian Springs has now won five state titles in boys’ soccer, but this is the first time the school has managed to do so in consecutive seasons.

“It’s a real testament to the character and intelligence of my boys,” said Rik Tozzi.

Russellville (20-3-1), coached by Trey Stanford, fell one win short of winning its first state boys soccer title, despite beating its opponents 27-4 in five postseason games.

CHAMPIONSHIP OF GIRLS CLASS 4A/5A

Indian Springs 5, East Limestone 0

HUNTSVILLE — Indian Springs High School junior Norah Roller arrived at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park with a clear goal: “I went into the game with this in mind, hoping I could pull off a hat-trick,” she said.

Not only did Roller score three goals for the second straight day, she walked away with a blue card. Indian Springs (18-3-2), coached by Justin Pino, earned a 5-0 win over East Limestone in Friday night’s Grades 4A-5A girls soccer championship game.

“I just got it in my head. I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do it,'” Roller said. “I love my team. They’re very supportive and everyone was so excited when I had a hat-trick. Yes, and we’re national champions – for the first time in 17 years.”

Indian Springs won its first state girls’ soccer title since 2005, when goals were also scored by Chloe Williams and Beth Scarborough. Scarborough and Shadie Shrestha had assists. The Indian Springs boys won a second straight 4A-5A title on Friday.

Indian Springs worked double overtime to beat Saint James in Thursday’s girls semifinals, with Roller scoring the winner. Against East Limestone, Scarborough scored after less than three minutes of play and Roller scored twice in the first half to ensure no heroics were required.

Goalkeeper Emma Hines made six saves for East Limestone (20-4-0), coached by Blake Tucker. The Indians were one win away from winning their first championship game in girls’ soccer.

CLASS 1A/3A BOYS CHAMPIONSHIP

Bayside Academy 1, Collinsville 0

HUNTSVILLE — Bayside Academy’s Ty Ferguson scored a goal with an assist from John Will Kirkland in the AHSAA State Soccer Championships Class 1A/3A boys’ final at 72:27 on Friday night. It was the only goal both teams managed to score as coach Jamie Ferguson’s Admirals (21-3-5) defeated Collinsville 1-0 to win the state crown.

It wasn’t for lack of effort, however.

Both teams pushed from the start and up to the final buzzer in a very intense, exciting football final between two well-coordinated teams.

Bayside made 16 shots, 11 on goal, and made the one when Panther goaltender Jinen Shukal recorded 10 saves that night. Collinsville (19-8-0), coached by Jeff Stanley, only had six shots but they continued to attack the Admirals defenses – but found few changes to crack their armor.

Ferguson had four shots on target that night. Kirkland also had four shots. Jesus Francisco had two shots for the Panthers while four other shots attempted.

The state championship was the third straight for Bayside, who have four state crowns to their tally since 2016. The Admirals also won the 1A/3A title in 2019 and 2021. There were no championships in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic Spring.

Collinsville has one state championship – winning in 2013.

CLASS 7A GIRLS CHAMPIONSHIP

Trinity Presbyterian 4, Whitesburg Christian 0

HUNTSVILLE — Trinity Presbyterian senior Katherine Warren scored two goals and the Wildcats defense did the rest in Friday afternoon’s AHSAA Class 1A/3A girls’ championship game at John Hunt Soccer Park.

Trinity (16-5-2) scored a 4-0 win over Whitesburg Christian to secure the school’s third girls’ state championship overall and second in a row. Coach Analyn Coker’s Wildcats have won three of the last four state crowns and also won the Class 4A/5A title in 2018. There was no championship in 2021.

Warren nailed a corner kick that she netted about 40 yards from the touchline for the third goal of the night. Hastings Avant scored the first goal at 6:27 of the opening period. The second goal came 16 minutes later when Whitesburg Christian accidentally deflected one of his own shots into the Warriors’ goal to give Trinity a 2-0 lead.

Whitesburg, coached by Julia Houser, only managed one shot on goal. Warriors goalie Anna Looser had four saves. Trinity had 18 shots for the game and eight shots on target.

The Class 1A/3A Boys State Championship and Class 4A/5A Girls State Championship conclude the games on Friday. Classes 6A and 7A will hold their finals on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

Saturday’s state finals, as well as all 11 other boys’ and girls’ championship games, will be streamed live over the NFHS Network’s subscription-based network. The Huntsville Schools ETV team, led by producer Jonathan Crowe, will produce all of the championships.

CLASS 7A BOYS SEMIFINALS

Eichenberg 1, Huntsville 0 (OT)

HUNTSVILLE — Oak Mountain High School is going to the Class 7A boys’ soccer state championship game on Saturday, thanks in large part to sophomore midfielder Aiden Riley.

Riley’s goal came at 1:59 into overtime. It was the only goal of the game that gave the Eagles a 1-0 win over Huntsville in Friday’s Class 7A Boys’ Semifinals of the AHSAA State Soccer Championships at John Hunt Park in Huntsville. Oak Mountain (18-4-5) is advancing to take on Daphne, a 4-2 winner over Davidson, in the other semifinal of the championship game at 12 p.m. Saturday.

Oak Mountain is trying to win its eighth state boys’ soccer title, but it’s the first since 2017. Huntsville (19-4-3) was chasing the inaugural boys’ soccer championship for boys.

Oak Mountain and Huntsville dominated defense in the semifinal thriller as Eagles goalie Adam Alemond had three saves and Huntsville goalie Harrison Shiner made four saves. Each team had nine shots normally, and Riley’s goal was the first shot of overtime.

Saturday’s state finals, as well as all 11 other boys’ and girls’ championship games, will be streamed live over the NFHS Network’s subscription-based network. The Huntsville Schools ETV team, led by producer Jonathan Crowe, will produce all of the championships.

CLASS 6A BOYS SEMIFINALS

Bergbach 2, Fort Payne 0

Mountain Brook High School’s Reed Harradine scored another shutout Friday as the Spartans advanced to the Class 6A state finals with a 2-0 shutout over Fort Payne on Friday at the John Hunt Soccer Complex.

For Coach Joe Webb’s Spartans (24-2-2), the shutout was their 18th of the season – and a big reason was Harradine’s game. The Wildcats (15-8-2) had three shots on target and Harradine had three saves in the semifinals.

Fort Payne’s defenses were also difficult to penetrate. Mountain Brook midfielder Jack Heaps scored the Spartans’ first goal in the second half at 51:07. Henry Tabb got the assist. Finn Calloway scored the last goal at 65:46 for all the reassurance his team would need.

The Wildcats, coached by Michael Farmer, limited Mountain Brook to just seven shots on goal while goaltender Luis Barrientos made five saves.

Mountain Brook meets Pelham ((23-3-1) in Saturday’s Finals. The Spartans are seeking their first state title and Pelham has one (2017).

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