ACCS veterans lead team to win over Parklane

Published 10:57 pm Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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NATCHEZ — ACCS junior forward Samuel Merriett dribbled into the penalty box when a Parklane defender attempted a tackle and brought him down. It was an immediate penalty decision for the referee.

Parklane was down by one goal with just a minute and a half left when Alex Patterson placed the ball on the penalty spot. He collected himself and fired the ball into the back of the net to “save the day,” assistant coach Jeremiah Dent said, as AC would win 5–3.

At halftime, the Rebels were up 3-0 and played some younger players before the visiting Pioneers mounted a comeback in the second half. It was the second game for the Rebels in two days as they played St. Aloysius Monday night.

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“We don’t usually play games back-to-back like this, but it was good that we got to,” Dent said. “We played everybody and got the younger guys some experience. We are still blending the roster. We have a lot of guys coming back from football. This game was huge for getting the younger guys’ experience.”

Merriett and Alex Patterson were the players responsible for the offensive firepower in the game. The two have had a strong start to the season. They have each notched a hattrick for the Rebels this season.

Their striker partnership began with rec and club soccer. Now, they are scoring machines as Merriett tickled the twine three times Tuesday night, and Patterson found the goal twice.

“Playing together for a long time allows you to build a lot of chemistry,” Merriett said. “It makes it a lot easier to be a forward. It is good to have someone to rely on when you get in trouble.”

Patterson started as a defender for the Rebels back when Christofer Thompson played an attacking role for ACCS. Since then, he has worked his way up the ladder and now finds himself in a striker position.

He not only practices on the weekends by going on the soccer fields in Vidalia and playing. This season is a rebuilding year for the Rebels, who lost 13 seniors from last year’s team. He is relishing the responsibilities of being a senior.

“It’s fun being a senior. You get to have a say in everything,” Patterson said. “You get to be a leader, especially in practice. We help out our teammates by teaching positioning and how to handle situations.”

Central midfielder Louis Loy came so close on several occasions to scoring goals from distance. One effort hit the bar and over the goal.

The senior is a defensive backbone, and when he played in a forward role in the second half, he orchestrated passes and touches to get teammates the ball. He was once a ball boy, he said. Now, he is a senior leader and has one goal for this season.

“I want to prove the rest of the teams wrong about us,” Loy said. “We lost 13 seniors. All we have heard is we are not going to make the playoffs or past the first round.”