By Ronald Frazier
April 19 was a cold wet and windy evening to play soccer and the depressing weather at the Montgomery Soccer Complex did not help Glenwood with the results of two championship matches.
For the first time in six years, the state girls’ soccer champions were not the Glenwood Lady Gators as they lost a heart-breaking game to Tuscaloosa Academy, 2-1. The Lady Knights were Glenwood’s opponent last year as the Lady Gators won their fifth straight title, but 2019 was not to be No. 6. The news was also as tough for the boys’ team that despite having several underclassmen for Coach Eddie Miranda lost to Lee-Scott in the boys final by the same 2-1 score.
The Lady Gators suffered only their second loss and finished with a 12-2-3 record for the year and the runner-up trophy. Three Lady Gator players made the state all-star team, Jordyn Wheeler, Briana Fanning, and Emily Sawtelle.
For the boys, three Gators were named all-state: Cameron Stamps, Griffin Montroy and Jackson Curtis.
Wheeler scored the only goal for the Lady Gators in the girls game played at 6 p.m., and keeper Taylor Johnson did save six of eight shots on goal.
The boys’ game was played at 8 p.m. and Tucker Mims had the goal for the Gators. The boys finished the season 12-7-1.
“The news is not good from Montgomery,” Lady Gator coach John Robertson said. “We just could not score the second goal against a good Tuscaloosa team.”
All the playoffs games for both boys and girls teams were played the week of April 15-19.
On the April 15, Glenwood, as the No. 1 area seed hosted the girls’ quarterfinal game. The Lady Gators powered through Coosa Valley by a 10-0 score as no less than eight Glenwood players scored at least one goal.
With Wheeler and Sawtelle each getting two goals and an assist, Brook Sydlik, Cailin Obert, Dakota Wood, Sydney Norris, Fanning, and Jennifer Ortiz all had single goals and Johnson had another shutout in goal, her sixth of the year.
The boys’ team had a tougher road as they opened the playoffs on the same night and beat Fort Dale in Greenville on penalty kicks after the game was tied in regulation 0-0. The Gators won 4-3 on the penalty shots as Montroy, Troy Billingslea, Carson Long, and Stamps all scored.
On Thursday, the Lady Gators had to play Autauga Academy while the Gators met Springwood.
The Lady Gators offense was still on high octane as they rushed through the Lady Generals, 6-1. Sawtelle had three goals and two assists while Norris, Obert and Wheeler added single scores. Wheeler also had an assist.
The Glenwood game with Springwood was a rematch of a contest played in Lanett, and the Wildcats had beaten Glenwood there by a 2-0 score. But this time, the Gators turned the tables and won by the same 2-0 score.
Montroy scored two goals, and Billingslea had the assist to put the boys’ team in the title game on the April 19.