Westbrook comes up short against Bayside Academy in state championship

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Photo: Westbrook Christian’s Brady Fouts makes one of his 14 saves during the Warriors’ 3-0 loss to Bayside Academy in the Class 4A boys soccer championship game last Saturday (May 13) in Huntsville. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

Westbrook Christian gave it a go, but in the end, the Warriors could not prevent Bayside Academy from notching its third straight state soccer championship.
The Admirals outshot Westbrook (12-9-3) 31 to 9 on the way to a 3-0 victory in the Class 4A championship game last Saturday (May 13) at John Hunt Park in Huntsville.
Bayside took the lead for good 10 minutes into the match on a goal by Tipton Smith with an assist from Joey Jones.
The Admiral made it 2-0 a minute and a half into the second half on a goal by Jones, and Bayside put the game out of reach with two and a half minutes remaining in regulation when Jones scored from 15 yards out.
Westbrook reached the championship game with a 2-0 win over Westminster Christian in Friday’s semifinal round. Ethan Pratt opened the scoring two minutes in the game with an assist from Jake Edwards. John Gilchrist polished it off with a goal in the 67th minute. Brady Fouts finished with three saves. Westbrook finished with 17 shots to the Wildcats’ nine.
“We were pretty worn out from yesterday’s game, and we just couldn’t get anything going [against Bayside],” said Westbrook head coach Danny Dunlap. “We had a couple of shots on goal early on, and if we made one of those, it might have been different. But we had a great year, and these seniors (John Gilchrist, Ethan Pratt, Karmichael Cattling, Landon Armstrong, Layten Crawford and Brody Ostendorf) worked their tails off and provided outstanding leadership.”
Dunlap pointed to the outstanding play of Fouts as a key reason why Westbrook stayed within striking distance for most of the game.
“Brady has had some fantastic games for us this season. He’s a very athletic and smart young man who stops way more shots than he misses. He’s also got a lot of guts, which is part of it.”
Dunlap noted that the team improved in leaps and bounds following an 0-7 start to the season.
“Out of the seven teams we lost to, six made the state playoffs,” he said. “We lost some tough games, but we got re-organized, and the turnaround to the season came when we moved Ethan from the midfield up to striker. He’s a passionate soccer player and a great leader who is very strong and very fast and has great skills.
“I have nothing but praise for this team, and I thank the Lord that we were able to get to this point with the way we started out. We’ve got quality players who are also good kids at a terrific school, and I couldn’t ask for better support.”

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