New Albany clinches playoff berths in soccer
Estefany and Anthony Fernandez both posted strong performances, helping New Albany stay in the race for the boys and girls division titles in 1-4A with their wins over North Pontotoc Tuesday night.
The girls game was dominated by Estefany, who scored four of the Lady 'Dawgs' five goals enroute to the 5-2 win over the Lady Vikings.
“Unbelievble. She went on a scoring spree,” NAHS girls coach Les Huntington said. “Her main contribution this year is to set an example for our very young team. We started the season with five experienced players and if it weren't for the leadership of Estefany and Brittany (Ellett), I don't know where we would be. They have done a phenominal job.”
Ellett assisted on the two second half goals, one by Kristen Olson at the beginning of the half and again on Fernandez's fourth goal. Hannah Anderson assisted on two of the three first half goals, and Fernandez posted a hat trick before the half, also hitting on a penalty kick.
The Lady Bulldogs have one more regular season match against Pontotoc. While they have already secured a spot in the playoffs, there is still a chance for them to pick up the division title, if they are able to post enough goals against the Lady Warriors. Pontotoc defeated New Albany earlier this season, 5-0.
Anthony Fernandez had a hat trick of his own in the boys game, scoring three first half goals enroute to the Bulldogs' 9-0 win. Gabriel Fernandez also scored two in the first half and Edgar Fernandez posted one himself to give New Albany the 6-0 lead at the break.
“We've been talking about things we need to work on and playing a full 80 minutes, not letting the other team score,” NAHS boys coach Taylor Nichols said. “Since the loss to Pontotoc, we've been working on things each game that will help us for when we play them again. It's a good win, a lot of guys got to play and it was a lot of fun, so hopefully it won't be our last game on this field.”
Gabriel Fernandez finished with three goals, hitting another in the second half along with Graham Collins and Ian Campbell. The division title is still in reach for the Bulldogs as well, and the make up game will determine if New Albany will win back-to-back division titles. The Warriors defeated New Albany 2-0 eariler this year.
“We're going down there with the mentality that we're not going to go home with second place,” Nichols said. “We know the things we're going to have to do in order to do that, playing with more intensity, but we're not satisfied with finishing in second. We know we have to play better than we did in the first meeting here.”
About Chris Elkins
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