“This was an awesome win by the guys. It really was a battle,” said Jags head coach Scott Henderson. “It was the most physical match we’ve played and the guys stepped up and played very well.”
Henderson was very proud of his team because of the effort it took to beat a team like Drew -- last year the Titans won the Region 4-AAA title, going undefeated in the process.
“Drew is a very good team. To get a win over this team is a big feat for us,” Henderson said.
Spalding won its sixth match in its last seven, improving to 10-3-1 overall and remaining undefeated in region play at 6-0. Drew falls to 10-4-1, 5-3.
The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half, as both Drew and Spalding played great defense. The Jags finally dented the scoreboard in the second half as Harrison Turner scored off an assist by Brandon “Cornbread” Thomas at the 17th minute to give Spalding the 1-0 lead.
After nine minutes of intense action, Spalding got the match’s final goal thanks in part to a mistake by a couple of Drew defenders. Two of the Titans collided into each other in the box and once the ball bounced Mackenzie Marcoux’s way, he gave it a good touch and shot it past the Titans keeper for the 2-0 final margin.
“Mackenzie was in the right place at the right time,” Henderson said.
Henderson praised his team’s defense, especially keeper Peter Strnad who controlled the box all match long and made a great save on an early Drew shot.
“Peter got everyone organized in the match. He’s really coming into his own,” Henderson said.
Strnad and the rest of the Jags will have to be even more organized in the next few days because Spalding hosts second-place region foe Sandy Creek Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. Sandy Creek is currently 10-2 overall and 5-1 in the region.
Should Spalding win Tuesday, the Jags will win the 2012 region title as they will be two or more games ahead of the rest of their region opponents with one region match left to play. If Sandy Creek wins, the Patriots will have the inside track on the region title with one region match remaining since they will have won the head-to-head matchup between themselves and Spalding.