Corner kicks lead Franklin Co. past Wave

Published 1:03 am Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NATCHEZ — Anyone that has attended a Cathedral soccer game has heard Green Wave soccer announcer Kenneth Stubbs refer to the corner kick as, “The most dangerous play in soccer.”

But on Tuesday night, that dangerous play turned deadly for the Greenies and helped cost them the District 7-1A-3A championship.

Franklin County scored two goals off corner kicks in the second half, which allowed them to overcome a one-goal deficit and take a 2-1 victory and with it, the district title.

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“We work hard on our set pieces, penalty kicks and corner kicks,” Franklin County soccer coach Jamie Madison said. “Those are the kind of plays that win you games. We’ve scored on corner kicks a number of times this season.”

The first corner kick came 13 minutes into the second half and just seven minutes after Cathedral had taken the lead when Hunter Foster headed in a free kick off the foot of Harrison Burns.

David Brown sent the corner kick into the box, where Hunter Hatcher easily headed it past Cathedral goalkeeper Aaron Sandifer.

The exact same thing happened 11 minutes later.

Brown won a corner kick for the Bulldogs and then lofted a perfect kick right to Hatcher, who once again headed it past Sandifer for the winning goal.

“(Defending set pieces) has been one of our weaknesses all season,” Cathedral coach Rick Simons said. “They’ve got some tall guys and we had trouble defending them (in the box).”

While Franklin County clinched the district championship with the victory, Cathedral still needs to win at North Pike on Friday to sew up second place in the district and clinch a playoff spot.

Should Cathedral do that, the Green Wave and the Bulldogs could meet again in the postseason, which is something both coaches wouldn’t mind.

“We could see Cathedral again,” Madison said. “I think these are two of the best teams in South State.”

Cathedral girls win in shootout

When Cathedral seventh-grader Madeleine Christian stepped up to take a penalty kick with the game on the line, she had just one thought.

“I thought I wouldn’t make it,” she said.

Fortunately for the Lady Wave, her premonition didn’t come true, as she rifled a shot into the back of the net to give Cathedral a shootout victory over Franklin County.

The game was scoreless at the end of regulation, which meant two 10-minute overtime periods.

Karlee Mullins gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead with a goal in the first 10-minute period, but Christian tied the score back up with what she called a “lucky” goal three minutes into the second period.

That meant a penalty shootout, with five players from each team firing shots.

After four shots, Cathedral had made three while Franklin County had made two, which meant Christian’s goal would be the game-winner.

She said she was extremely nervous, but she didn’t look it as she fired the shot into the left corner.

It was a great ending to a game that was dominated by defense.

“It was an awesome defensive performance by the team,” Cathedral coach David Gaudé said. “I can’t tell you how well they played. And it all came down to the smallest and youngest player on the field.”

It was the final home game for the Cathedral seniors, and Gaudé was happy they were able to go out with a win.

“Give credit to the seniors,” he said. “Every one of them wanted it tonight. I just can’t say enough about them.”