Southside sweeps first-ever county soccer tournament


Photo: Southside High’s Hannah Maddox reacts after her game-winning save against Gadsden City in a penalty kick shootout in the Etowah County girls soccer tournament championship match on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the KIA SportsPlex in Rainbow City. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

The hometown school carried the day at the inaugural Etowah County Soccer Tournament.
Southside High swept the tournament, with both teams defeating Gadsden City in the championship matches last Saturday (Feb. 23) at the KIA SportsPlex in Rainbow City. The boys posting a 4-1 win over the Titans, while the girls won in a penalty kick shootout after finishing in a 1-1 tie in regulation.
“I think we played very tough and very consistent [for the tournament],” said Southside girls head coach Tiffany Cargill. “Gadsden City’s got a really good defense that’s very fast, and we had to diversify our attack. We weren’t able to make it happen in regulation but I’m really glad that we were able to get it done with the penalty kicks.”
After Avery Parker scored in the first half for Gadsden City, Southside’s Maddy Sprinkle scored off of a set piece midway through the second half to tie the game at 1-1. In the penalty kick phase, Hannah Maddox and Madison Ashley scored. With the Lady Titans needing a goal to stay alive, Maddox tipped the attempts over net to give Southside the win. Maddox wound up stopping three of five GCHS penalty kick attempts and had five saves in regulation play.
“Hannah’s a young player and she’s made the effort to train really hard,” said Cargill. “That’s shown through the season so far. She’s definitely our MVP for this tournament.”
For Gadsden City, Ella Jennings had 14 saves n goal. Miriam Rasoool, Raegan Brooks, Lily Powers, Margaret Stacey and Anna Klaire Ashley each had a tackle/steal.
Cargill appreciated the fact that Etowah County finally had enough high school teams to hold a county tournament.
“I love the growth that we’re having with soccer in our area,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we can get more schools get soccer teams. It’s also great to play at home in such a wonderful facility as this one.”
The Lady Panthers opened the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Hokes Bluff. Elizabeth Moore scored both goals, with an assist each time from Kinsey Carter. Maddox made two saves.
Southside then posted a 1-0 shutout over Geraldine. Mallory Tucker, Madison Walker and Anabella Thapa each scored two goals, while Moore, Carter, Sprinkle and Makayla Walker all scored one. Carter distributed three assists, followed by Ashley with two and Emma Williard with one.
In the boys championship match for Southside, Camren Thompson scored three goals along with an assist. Alex Mullins added a goal, while Thompson, Cooper Yancey, Trek Gardner and Joel Herrera all had one assist. Hayes Cosby had six saves in goal, while Aaron Herrera had three.
Bladimir Cervantes scored the Titans lone goal with an assist from Jarred Aguirre.
Southside opened the tournament with a 5-1 win over Glencoe. Caleb Ogle scored a pair of goals, with Argo, Thompson and Trek Gardner all adding one. Gardner and Joel Herrera both had two assists, while Yancey had one. Aaron Herrera had four saves.
The Panthers then defeated Coosa Christian, 8-1. Thompson notched another hat trick with three goals while adding an assist. Ouzeiph Toumbia, Lee Satterfield, Aaron Herrera, Corbin Guest and Wilson Brown all scored a goal. Thompson, Mullins, Grant Vice and Joel Herrera each had an assist. Andersson had three saves.
The Panthers posted a 4-1 victory over Westbrook Christian in the semifinals. Thompson earned another hat trick with three goals, while Joel Herrera added one. Will Argo had two assists, while Alex Mullins had one. Cosby had four saves, while Oskar Andersson stopped three shots.
“I thought we had a really good tournament,” said Southside boys head coach Randy Vice. “We had moments when we didn’t play to our potential, but we had some really good competition that challenged us. Gadsden City by far is one of the stronger teams in our area, and they showed up to play. It’s just great to finally have a tournament to call our own and even more special for both of our teams to win it.”
The GCHS girls opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over Westbrook. Fiyinfoluwa Oguntuyo had a goal and an assist, Avery Parker had a goal, Rasool had an assist and a tackle/steal, Stacey had four tackle/steals, Ashley had two tackle/steals and Powers and Evie Millican each had a tackle/steal. Jennings had five saves in goal.
Gadsden City then beat Glencoe, 3-1. Ashley, Parker and Soleil Nuno each scored a goal, while Oguntuyo and Kinsley Edwards both had an assist. Ashley had three tackle/steals, followed by Rasool, Brooks and Stacey with one each. Gwen Rikansrud had eight saves in goal.
Vice, who is a Rainbow City councilman, acknowledged that it was special for the municipality to host the first-ever soccer tournament of its kind.
“To me, this is a major accomplishment for the youth programs in our area,” he said. “To see so many local schools starting soccer programs, like Hokes Bluff and Glencoe and Coosa Christian and Westbrook, it’s been neat to watch. To have this kind of facility within our school zone to host tournaments is a privilege.
“I’d also like to thank the KIA [car dealership] in Rainbow City for stepping up and sponsoring this amazing complex. Without their support and the support of other sponsors like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, this would not be possible.”
Vice also expressed thanks to the Rainbow City Parks and Recreation Department, as well as the donation of food from Old Mexico and El Tapatio restaurants and team parents for the hospitality room.
The Gadsden City boys opened the tournament with a 5-0 shutout over Etowah. Erick Gaytan paced the Titans with two goals, followed by Santos Corronado, Dago Santiago and Pedro Salvador each with one.
Cervantes scored four goals to lead GCHS past Hokes Bluff, 7-0. Pablo Salvador had a goal and an assist, Jimenez Francisco and Brayan Ordonez each had one goal and Tito Guerrero and Byron Felix both had two assists.
The Titans then beat Geraldine, 4-1. Cervantes scored a pair of goals, Nelson Robinson and Felix both scored a goal and Guerrero, Aguirre, Salvador and Isaac Lopez all had an assist.
In other boys action, Westbrook defeated Coosa Christian, 6-0; Hokes Bluff beat Etowah, 5-0; and Glencoe knocked off Westbrook, 1-0 and Coosa Christian, 9-0.

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