Bulldog soccer wins big in opener

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

BROOKHAVEN &8212; Natchez High opened up its 2006-2007 soccer season with a sweep of Loyd Star as the Bulldogs defeated the Hornets 3-0 and the Lady Bulldogs defeated the Lady Hornets 3-1.

In the varsity boys game, Ross Smith scored two goals and Jeremy Buckles scored the other goal for the Bulldogs (1-0). But head coach Dennis Hogue said the main reason for the team&8217;s win was its defense.

&8220;They (Loyd Star) couldn&8217;t get anything by them,&8221; Hogue said. &8220;Everyone played their position. Our defense was so strong. Our offense scored goals, but our defense won the game. Taylor Davis, Dustin Adams and Josh Smith was our backfield. They were our wall.&8221;

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Hogue also said that every time the Hornets tried to get something going, the Bulldogs&8217; defense was there to put a stop to it. &8220;Loyd Star moved the ball well. Our defense was snuffing them out.&8221;

Smith scored his first goal in the first half with an assist from Taylor Davis to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead, which was the score at halftime.

&8220;Taylor was on defense and he stopped an attack. He made a 40-yard pass to Ross, who was just inside the penalty box. Ross made a great trap, stopped and fired,&8221; Hogue said.

Smith had his second goal early in the second half with an assist from Kent Calvitt.

&8220;Kent passed the ball between the defender&8217;s legs to Ross and he put it in with his left foot,&8221; Hogue said.

During the second half, Hogue took Jeremy Buckles out of the goalkeeper position and put him in the field. Marcus Hargraves came in at goalkeeper and the move paid off as Buckles scored at the 26th minute of the half.

&8220;Esteban Roman trapped it, took space on the left way and made a nice crossing pass to Buckles, who was running up centerfield,&8221; Hogue said. &8220;Buckles put in the goal past the keeper. It was a great run.&8221;

Hogue acknowledged that his team had some first-game jitters, but after Smith&8217;s first goal, the Bulldogs settled down. He also noted that his team passed the ball well, which is something it hadn&8217;t been doing in practice.

&8220;We were struggling with our time. We couldn&8217;t get our one-touch passes down,&8221; Hogue said.

In the varsity girls game, Jadtrl Heard scored in the first half and Erica Singleton and Jessica Evans had goals in the second half in the Lady Bulldogs&8217; win.

&8220;The second half, we dominated mostly on their side,&8221; Lady Bulldogs head coach Lena Yarbrough said. &8220;I was incredibly impressed with my team. We passed the ball well. We were missing Cacey Champlin. We had a rookie, Carmeen Pittman, who covered Champlin&8217;s spot as sweeper on defense.&8221;

Yarbrough admitted that she was concerned how the defense would play without Champlin, but was pleased with how Pittman played.

&8220;Carmeen came up and did a good job. Our girls passed and communicated well. Overall, it was a good game.&8221;