Brookhaven Academy sinks St. Al with pair of PKs

Published 9:39 am Friday, January 6, 2023

By Hunter Cloud
The Daily Leader

BROOKHAVEN — Enrique Hernandez was fouled late in Brookhaven Academy’s boys’ soccer match against St. Aloysius Thursday night. The referee called a foul as the Flashes defender bumped Hernandez with his shoulder and pointed to the penalty spot.

He calmly stepped up to the spot and sent it past the keeper to give Brookhaven Academy a 3-2 comeback victory. It was the first game the Cougars played in four weeks following their holiday break.

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“I’m glad we were able to win. We were playing hard,” Hernandez said. “I felt I was going to score when I walked up to take the penalty. I was confident. It is just natural for me.”

Hernandez scored the equalizer with about 25 minutes left in the second half after weaving through St. Al’s defense. Celebrating, he threw his hands up to form the shape of a heart with his cousin Yojan Hernandez congratulating him.

Yojan Hernandez scored the first goal of the night on a penalty kick, which was initially stopped by St. Aloysius’ keeper Caleb Tucker. Yojan followed the rebound and put it in the back of the net. The Flashes scored a goal about 10 minutes later on a low free kick into the box by Sam Hall.

With about three minutes to go in the half, St. Al scored its go-ahead goal on a short-range chance by Robert Lee. Brookhaven was looking for a spark at halftime after the Flashes created an abundance of pressure and chances in their attacking third.

“They were pretty fast and they had a good touch tonight. It was tough. You have to play smart and know what they want to do,” Enrique said. “We changed some things at halftime and head coach Alex Brown told us to try our best. He told us to play smart and be physical and strong.”

It must have worked because Brookhaven Academy responded with two second half goals to win the match. St. Al had chances in the final minutes of the game but could not convert on a series of corner kicks.

St. Al will host an 11-team tournament Saturday at Sports Force Parks. The Flashes will play early and late, facing Bayou Academy at 9 a.m. and Washington School at 3 p.m.

St. Al’s junior varsity team will also play Adams County Christian at 10:30 a.m.

Warren Central’s junior varsity team will play Bayou Academy and Madison-St. Joe’s JV teams at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

Other teams participating in the tournament are Greenville-St. Joe, Delta Streets, Cathedral, Manchester Academy, Pillow Academy.