By Ronald Frazier
Glenwood’s Lady Gators kept their winning streak alive and took home their 6th straight state AISA title by defeating arch-rival Lee Scott in the title contest April 20 by a 2-1 margin at the soccer complex in Montgomery.
“We were 1-1 against them for the year as they beat us early and we defeated them later,” said Glenwood coach John Robertson. “I knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Getting the goals for Glenwood were Emily Sawtelle and Jordyn Wheeler with Wheeler also getting an assist on Sawtelle’s score. On defense, goal Keeper Taylor Johnson made four of five saves for Glenwood.
The win for Glenwood was their 11th victory in a row as the Gators started the year out 1-3 and finished 12-3 on the year.
“We had a lot of under classmen on the squad and after the first three weeks or so I was not sure how well we would do this year. But the players bought into the team concept and we got on a roll and the players worked hard on what we were trying to do.” Said Lady Gator coach John Robertson.
“This team has really improved a lot since the start of the year,” Robertson added.
Wheeler was named the tournament’s MVP and three other Lady Gators also made the all-star squad including Johnson, Sawtelle and defensive stalwart Brianna Fanning.
The Glenwood boys also made the playoffs but the Gators, after winning their first round game, lost to Tuscaloosa in the semifinal round on penalty kicks. The score was 0-0 after regular regulation and stayed there through two overtime periods.
Eventually the Knights won on sudden death penalty kicks.
The Lady Gators faced the same school Tuscaloosa and eased by the Lady Knights by a 1-0 score. Tuscaloosa was the team Glenwood faced in 2017 title contest.
Getting the only score of the game for Glenwood was senior Abby Brown. Wheeler made an attempt that the Lady Knight goalie knocked away but could not clear the ball and Brown was there to put the ball in net.
“Abby was in the right place and did what she needed to do,” said Robertson of his senior.
In the first round again both teams faced a mutual opponent, Fort Dale. The first round games were played at Glenwood based on their region records.
The girls dominated the Lady Eagles by a 4-0 count for their ninth straight victory and Wheeler had two goals and an assist to lead the scoring. Sawtelle and Karsyn Floyd each had single scores and Johnson got her first shutout of the playoffs by stopping all three shots on goal she faced.
The boys also advanced by beating Fort Dale, 2-0. Joshua Herring and Carson Long each scored goals for the Gators who advanced to the semifinals for the second straight year. Ben Bankston was in goal and saved the shutout and the Gator defense controlled traffic on their side of the field.
“Our defense played a good game and our young players came through for us,” said boys’ coach Eddie Miranda. “I was proud of the effort because the last time we faced Fort Dale they literally won on a last second shot as the horn sounded so it felt good to play them and win.”
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