By Chris McCarthy/Editor
After not allowing more than one goal per match during their 24-game winning streak this season, the dam finally broke on Westbrook Christian defense on Friday (May 14) in Huntsville.
Holy Spirit Catholic junior forward Jordan Richmond scored four goals to lead the Lady Titans to a 4-1 victory in the Class 1A/3A girls’ finals of the AHSAA State Soccer Championships at the John Hunt Soccer Complex.
Coming out of halftime trailing 2-0, Westbrook (24-1) drew within a goal when junior forward Olivia Strickland scored at the 30-minute mark. That was as close as the Lady Warriors would get, however as Richmond twice found the net over the final 14 minutes to seal the victory. The tournament MVP was 4-of-5 with shots on goal.
“Holy Sprit’s a very good team, and [Richmond] is as good a player as we’ve faced all year,” said Westbrook head coach Joel Hawbaker. “I’m proud of my girls for playing hard the whole game. Honestly, [Holy Spirit] finished their chances and we didn’t. I thought we had a chance when we brought it back to 2-1, but it’s real hard to come back when it’s 3-1 and then 4-1 with just a few minutes left. [Holy Spirit] played the ball to dangerous spots and [Richmond] finished them off. All the credit goes to them.”
Holy Spirit (17-0-0) took the lead for good at 39:13 of the first half on Richmond’s scored her first goal. She added a quick goal 3:45 into the second half to make it 2-0.
Holy Spirit goalkeeper Blakley Jones had four saves, while Westbrook’s Mattie Loyd had three.
“I was proud of our girls for fighting all the way to the last whistle and how they conducted themselves,” said Hawbaker. “We’ve got a great group of seven seniors who’ve been on the team since I’ve been at Westbrook the last three years. They worked hard and set a great example with their attitude and their actions.
“If you’d asked us at the beginning of the season if we’d thought we’d be here, nobody on the team would have said ‘yes.’ Our goal was to get past Altamont in the quarterfinals because we’ve never made that far before, and anything beyond that was gravy. You want to win in the finals, but it’s pretty hard to be upset when you go 24-0 and meet a team like [Holy Spirit] in the championship.”
This article was supplemented by ahsaa.com.