Green Wave turns up heat in second half to knock off rival St. Aloysius

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Sugar may have littered the streets of New Orleans after LSU’s Bowl Championship Series national title Sunday, but things were even sweeter at Cathedral’s D’Evereux Stadium Tuesday.

Particularly for senior Wyler Murray, who has his most prolific game of the season in a redemption song victory over rival St. Aloysius.

Murray scored twice in less than 3 1/2 minutes midway through the second half, as the Green Wave (6-2) totaled four in a 5-1 waxing of the Flashes.

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&uot;We’ve never beaten St. Al since I’ve been on this soccer team,&uot; Murray said. &uot;To come out and have my best game against them is something I’ll remember.&uot;

Murray broke a 1-1 halftime lock with a goal at the 21:07 mark after stabbing at a loose ball with his right foot and punching it past St. Al keeper Patrick Carroll.

&uot;The defender had his back to me when I saw the ball roll in,&uot; he said. &uot;I felt like I could get to it and I was able to.&uot;

Not satisfied with his first goal of the season, Murray added his second with 17:39 to play in the contest with a great individual effort to make it 3-1.

Murray dribbled past midfield, saved the ball from going out, tangoed between two Flash defenders and unfurled a shot from just outside the right corner of the box.

The laser had a nice tail to it and curved away from Carroll into the net.

&uot;I just couldn’t be stopped. It was open and that’s what coach always tells us to do,&uot; Murray said. &uot;My touch has been off this year, but I was comfortable with it tonight and decided to go with it.&uot;

Palmer Rinehart, another Green Wave senior, added two goals in the final three minutes of the game to go along with Andy Taunton’s first half goal, which gave Cathedral the early 1-0 lead.

Both of Rinehart’s goals were set up by nice passes from Nick Anderson.

On the first Rinehart touched the ball twice before firing past Carroll. The second, seconds before the referee blew the final whistle, Palmer one touched Anderson’s loft into the far corner of the net.

&uot;The goalie played excellent in the first half, but in the second half he didn’t get a lot of help,&uot; St. Al head coach Johnny Beauchamp said. &uot;He did all he could to hold (the Green Wave) off.&uot;

Star Flash Michael Head, the lone senior who is being heavily recruited by some colleges, was bottled up most of the night by the defense of Patrick Vogt, who was able to steal some breakaway opportunities from Head.

Head was able to get on an assist on St. Al’s lone goal from Bern Ebersole with 8:02 left before the break, which tied things up at 1.

However, the Flashes’ leading scorer never got a clean shot at Cathedral keeper Thomas Ater due to the Green Wave’s sticky defense.

&uot;Our defense has played solid all year. Patrick and Jack (Aubic) and Will Carter anchor the team back there,&uot; Cathedral head coach Rick Freeman said. &uot;The defense did an outstanding job tonight. We played as a team. This is the best game they’ve played this year.&uot;

The win was doubly sweet for the Green Wave’s healthy crop of seniors, which had been shutout by St. Al in Vicksburg 5-0 on Nov. 18.

While the game did get a little physical in the second half with a lot of pushing and shoving, Cathedral players managed to avoid any confrontations against its bitter rival.

&uot;We play these type of games every year and St. Al always gives a good game,&uot; Murray said. &uot;We learn how to play our game and it worked tonight against St. Al.&uot;

Beauchamp pointed to the youth of his team as an Achilles’ heel Tuesday. He believe the road ahead could be windy, but did give credit to the Green Wave for elevating their level of play in the second half.

&uot;(Head is) the only senior on our team. We’ve got a lot of work to do,&uot; he said. &uot;We played a good team tonight. The defense fell apart in the second half.&uot;

St. Al girls 2, Cathedral 1

If it had not been for a first half penalty kick, both teams might still be playing this one.

In the bitter cold, shots on goal were tough to come by, but Lady Flash Andrea Harrison was able to score both goals in the victory.

&uot;Being in this cold weather it was hard for them to get a lot of touches on the ball,&uot; St. Al head coach Karen Carroll said. &uot;Cathedral is a real good team. They’ve improved a lot since Vicksburg.&uot;

Harrison scored off a penalty kick with 26:40 left in the first for the 1-0 halftime lead. However the Lady Wave tied it up at the 30:28 mark when Alana Malone rainbowed her kick over keeper Lindsay Hall’s head.

&uot;They improved a lot in the second half,&uot; Green Wave head coach Christine Krupa said. &uot;We had a little talk at the half and I think they pulled it together. If they can go out there and the game is not going their way and they’re able to turn it around, that shows a lot of character.&uot;

Harrison added the final margin when she took a Haley Davis pass and send it over CHS keeper Lori Scruggs’ head into the net.