Brookhaven Academy downs St. Al with first-half flurry

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

St. Aloysius seemed a bit sluggish and out of sorts on Tuesday, and Brookhaven Academy seemed more than happy to take advantage of it.

Brookhaven scored three goals in the last 11 minutes of the first half to blow open a tie game, and went on to beat St. Al 6-2 in a boys’ soccer match Tuesday at Balzli Field.

“If you’re going to win state you’ve got to beat this team. They’re not a perennial power, they’re just a team that’s picked up some men,” St. Al coach Jay Madison said. “Their leadership did better for their team than our leadership did for our team. Our guys are good and they’re good leaders. They just didn’t do that tonight.”

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Yosvin Hernandez scored four goals for Brookhaven (9-0), including two during the flurry late in the first half. He started it with a goal in the 29th minute, then scored again on a 15-yard free kick just before time expired.

Yojan Hernandez also scored, in the 38th minute, as the Cougars turned a 1-1 tie with 11 minutes left into a 4-1 lead at halftime.

Madison said a combination of a talented opponent, a bit of rust from a long holiday layoff, and some general “negativity” led to a less-than-stellar night for his team.

“A lot of ninth-graders in there. Young guys, and then some of the older guys were leading the negativity,” Madison said. “They’re a good team. They beat us twice. But it’s also a team that’s not in our district, so we can play and learn.”

St. Al (5-4) managed to pull it together a bit in the second half, but never got back in the game as far as the score was concerned.

Logan Alexander scored midway through the second half to put Brookhaven ahead 5-1, and Yosvin Hernandez got his fourth goal in the waning minutes.

St. Al had a couple of scoring chances early in the half. A corner kick gave the Flashes possession of the ball in front of the net, but they couldn’t get a shot off. Moments later, Cooper Madison was stopped by keeper Jaden Lea on a contested breakaway.

St. Al finally got on the board with a goal from Eli Shiers in the 65th minute, but that only cut it to 5-2. Cooper Madison assisted on Shiers’ goal, and also had the Flashes’ first goal early in the first half.

“We defended a lot better in the second half, and that’s what it is against this team,” Jay Madison said. “We’re going to have our opportunities, but we can’t let their midfield flow through and then all of a sudden it’s five vs. our guys in the back. That’s what they do that’s different than most teams we play. This team is really creative in the midfield.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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