ACCS beats Brookhaven

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 25, 2011

ACCS' Sage Atkins and Brookhaven Academy's Harley Smith fight for the ball during their game Wednesday afternoon at ACCS. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — What a difference a year makes.

After spending its inaugural season mostly fending off other teams’ offensive attacks, the Adams County Christian School girls have learned how to attack offensively, head coach Jim Allgood said.

That was evident Wednesday afternoon, as ACCS defeated Brookhaven Academy 5-1 in a game that saw the Lady Rebels’ first hat trick, courtesy of Brandis White.

White’s three goals put her at a loss for words following her team’s win Friday.

“I don’t know, I’m just surprised,” White said. “I kicked the ball, ran really fast and just scored.”

White, who also plays basketball for the Lady Rebels, said eluding defenders in soccer is far different than evading them in basketball.

“It’s all legwork,” White said.

Allgood said White’s accolades Wednesday were very impressive considering she hadn’t played soccer prior to this season.

“I think this was her fourth soccer match ever in her life, and to have a hat trick, (that’s) unbelievable,” Allgood said.

Allgood said he was pleased with his players’ aggression on the field, saying it was probably their most aggressive game to date since the school’s soccer program started.

“The game was totally dominated by one lady, Katie Russ,” Allgood said.

“Why? Because she was a field general. She was the one that could control the ball on defense, and 75 percent of the game was played on (Brookhaven Academy’s) half of the field. Why? Because she played aggressive defense that created offense.”

In addition to White’s three goals, Mollie Simpson and Merritt Murray both scored for ACCS.

“Merritt Murray continues to hang around the goal, and anytime the ball is even anywhere near the net, she’s helping put it there,” Allgood said.

Allgood was also complimentary of Simpson and lone senior Sage Atkins.

“They’ve stepped up as team captains on this bunch, and they are helping feed immensely toward an offense that we did not have a year ago,” Allgood said.

Keeper Emily Williams limited Brookhaven Academy to one goal, and Allgood said he was very impressed with his seventh-grade keeper.

“As a seventh grader, she’s probably the most improved goalie that we’ve had, period,” Allgood said.

The Lady Rebels’ offensive abilities are a result of long hours of practice, Allgood said, and he said he’s glad those hours are finally paying off.

“Drills, drills, drills and more drills,” Allgood said. “The girls are slowly understanding what the little orange cones stand for when I put them out there.

“I put four on offense and four on defense, and we play a little of what I like to call a redneck game of soccer. It’s you four on offense, you four on defense and a goalie. You have to control it and you have to pass it.”

And being able to pass to each other is the skill the drills are designed to hone, he said.

“You have to make three passes before you can take a shot on goal,” Allgood said.

“It’s the same thing as playing soccer. When you simplify it and break it down and make it easier to understand, that’s what we’ve tried to do. We’re running one of the simplest offenses, because up until two weeks ago, I didn’t even know we were going to have an offense.”