Kirkwood’s hat trick nets Cathedral win

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 26, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; With a three-goal and one-assist performance Saturday, Jordan Kirkwood may have finally found his place on the Cathedral soccer team just at the right time.

Head coach Rocky Kettering moved Kirkwood up from the defensive backfield to a wing on offense a game ago.

However, Saturday was when the junior really found his niche accounting for all the points in a 4-1 Green Wave (11-1, 6-0 division 7-1A) defeat of North Pike, with the playoffs beginning on Tuesday.

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&uot;(Kirkwood) did a great job for us today,&uot; Kettering said. &uot;He’s a smart player out there and I knew he’d do well. He had a super game.&uot;

Kirkwood’s production came on some fancy footwork and heads-up playing.

His first varsity goal of his career, and the game’s first goal, came in the 19th minute of the first half when he one-timed a loose ball in the penalty box.

Palmer Rinehart headed down a Cathedral pass in the box and Kirkwood wasted no time in blasting it through for the early 1-0 lead.

A minute after North Pike keeper Ricky Killingsworth gobbled up a dart off the foot of Rinehart, Kirkwood struck again.

This time in the 38th minute, a beautiful, cross-field pass from Patrick Biglane caught everyone off guard except for Kirkwood.

Again, Kirkwood took the shot on one blast and slithered it past the left upright for the two-goal lead just before the break.

&uot;It was open all day on both sides of the box, but their middle was pretty strong,&uot; Kirkwood said. &uot;I give their goalie a lot of credit for the shots he was able to stop.&uot;

In the second half Jaguars head coach Wes McCullough had his team fired up, knowing they needed a win to be eligible for the postseason.

North Pike cut its deficit to a single goal early when Jason Duckworth controlled a pass in the box and touched it over Green Wave keeper Brent Tosspon’s head for the score.

The Jags had plenty of opportunities to score early on in the second half due to their aggressive play, but could never capitalize on the opportunities.

&uot;When you play a team like Cathedral you know it’s going to be tough,&uot; McCullough said. &uot;The guys played well all year, but if we had made some of those missed shots maybe it would have been a different ballgame.&uot;

Kirkwood got his first and only assist in the game in the 12th minute of the second half when he sent a nifty pass around Killingsworth to a shooting Blase Gaude who dented the nets with his score and the 3-1 lead.

For good measure, Kirkwood attained the hat trick late in the game when, this time, he took a Gaude long pass and provided enough English on the ball to sneak by Killingsworth.

&uot;This was a great game for us going into the playoffs and great to play such competitors like North Pike,&uot; Kettering said.

The Green Wave host a playoff game Tuesday. What time and who has not been determined yet.

North Pike girls 1, Cathedral 0, 2 OT

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Lady Wave fought diligently for close to 100 minutes, only to see their season come to a close on a fluke goal.

In a second 10-minute overtime, North Pike’s Courtney Floyd tattooed a kick from 35 yards out and everyone watched as the ball bounced high in the box, off Cathedral keeper Lori Scruggs’ fingertips and trickled into the net.

The win gave the Lady Jags the division 7-1A title and ended what would have been an uphill climb for Cathedral to make it to the playoffs.

The Lady Wave needed to win by two goals to earn a spot for next week.

&uot;It was a very excellent soccer game for anybody to watch,&uot; Kettering said. &uot;That was unfortunate for Scruggs because she made stops an above-average keeper could not make.&uot;