Hat trick gives ACCS a win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NATCHEZ — Last Saturday was a good day for ACCS soccer player Blake Smith to make school history.

On the day of his 18th birthday, Smith became the first Rebels soccer player to tally a hat trick, or three goals scored in one game in ACCS’ 3-1 win over Columbia Academy.

“It was pretty amazing,” Smith said. “It was definitely one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had. It was a pretty awesome feeling to not only do that, but coming away with a win was extra special.”

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In the eighth minute of play, Smith got his first goal on a pass from Johnny Smith to put ACCS in front 1-0. Columbia Academy responded with a goal in the 15th minute to tie the game 1-1.

But Smith made sure the Rebels would not come away with a loss. In the 36th minute of play, Smith scored off an assist from Justin Allgood. Then in the 62nd minute, he hit a driving shot from outside the box to give ACCS a 3-1 lead.

Mollie Simpson tacked on an insurance goal with six minutes left on a crossing pass from Jake Brumfield. The Columbia Academy keeper stopped the ball, but fumbled it, and Simpson fought him off to score the goal.

Head coach Jimmy Allgood said a defensive adjustment against Brookhaven Academy the day before Saturday’s win seems to have given his team new life. ACCS moved Lester Wells to middle midfielder at the half in that game, and the change was noticeable.

“Brookhaven Academy scored six goals the first half and only one the second half,” Allgood said.

“That may have been the missing link to the defensive puzzle we’ve been looking for. This light bulb effect was a daylight and dark difference for us, not only in the second half of that game, but also in the game against Columbia Academy.”

Allgood also put Dylan Galbreath back at keeper. Allgood said he was able to block approximately eight shots against Brookhaven Academy in the second half, and approximately 10 shots against Columbia Academy throughout the whole game.

Galbreath said his athleticism is what allows him to be an effective keeper.

“My first thought when someone’s coming at me is, what am I going to do if they score?” Galbreath said. “Then I get an adrenaline rush, and I see the ball. When they kick it, I react.”

Smith said the team’s offense has also improved since the season started, especially in the Rebels’ ability to pass effectively.

“We’ve gotten a lot stronger in practice, and our passing has improved tremendously,” he said. “Making good passes is one of the key things in soccer, and everyone’s been putting all they have into practicing.”

Smith said getting the school’s first hat trick is great, but the most important thing was that the team won.

“I’ll always have the first hat trick — it’s something no one can take away,” Smith said. “But it’s great to know that our defense shut the other team down. If we only scored two, we would have won, and the hat trick was just extra celebration.”

ACCS is now 5-8-1 on the season.