St. Al’s soccer season ends with playoff loss to Brookhaven Academy
Published 12:15 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023
By Hunter Cloud
For The Vicksburg Post
BROOKHAVEN — Brookhaven Academy’s milestone was St. Aloysius’ misfortune.
Brookhaven Academy won its first girls soccer playoff game in program history Monday night, and ended St. Al’s season, with a 3-0 victory over the Lady Flashes in the first round of the MAIS Division II playoffs.
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Brookhaven coach Alex Brown was pleased with the result. St Al’s Gio Baldizon was not thrilled with some of the calls that went against his team.
One of the referee decisions was to allow play to continue despite the line ref calling offsides on Brookhaven. St. Aloysius conceded a corner kick in the following play and then a header from Reagan Fortenberry to open the scoring.
“It wasn’t the best game for us. It doesn’t help that some of the calls that were made, against both teams, were very obviously wrong. The refs have to be consistent,” Baldizon said. “At the same time, we couldn’t move the ball down the field at times. They played pretty well and did a great job. We had a great season and I’m looking forward to the next season. Our seniors did great.”
Brookhaven Academy will play the winner of East Rankin vs. Oak Forest on Thursday for the Division II South State championship. East Rankin and Oak Forest played each other Tuesday night.
St Al lost its starting goalkeeper Sarah Smith in the first half as Fortenberry and the keeper went for a 50-50 ball. The players connected with the ball at the same time and Smith stayed down on the pitch. Play was allowed to continue and Brookhaven almost scored a second goal as a shot drifted wide. Parents on the St. Al sideline were not pleased but the referees said they could not stop play unless it was a head injury.
Only one goal separated the sides going into halftime. Brookhaven Academy came out and worked hard for a second goal. St. Al’s backup goalkeeper Maddy McSherry stepped up and made several key saves to keep her team in it.
“She is one of our softball players who joined us this year and she has contributed greatly,” Baldizon said. “We are here because of her and a few other players. She has played goalkeeper for us this year. It is her first year playing for us.”
Ava Calcote got on the end of a cross from Mallory Martin and scored a powerful header for the Cougars to make it 2-0. St Al had a few chances to break away and counter to cut into the lead, but none of the chances came to fruition.
A handball in the box on St. Al late in the game resulted in a penalty kick. Martin stepped up and slotted the shot home to ice the game.
“The girls did an awesome job this year,” Baldizon said. “In April we didn’t know if we had a
team or not.”