The # 2 ranked Oak Mountain Eagles varsity boys soccer team traveled to # 4 Vestavia Hills Monday night in the first round of AHSAA playoffs, pitting two of the state’s top teams against each other in the opening round. The Eagles emerged victorious, winning 2-1 through some inspired play in an exciting contest.
Vestavia drew first blood, knocking in a shot with 19:40 to play in the contest. The lead was short-lived, however.
On the ensuing kickoff, Patrick Guffey caught the Vestavia keeper off his line, and launched a bomb from midfield. The kick was absolutely perfect, over the keeper’s outstretched arms as he leaped, and ducking just under the crossbar for the game-tying goal.
With the momentum back in hand, Oak Mountain pressed the action. Senior Cody Wells seized an opportunity, dashing between both Vestavia center backs and launching a perfect shot that only a heroic effort by the Vestavia keeper kept from going in. Wells jumped on the richochet, but before he could fire another shot, he was taken down from behind with 1:53 to play in the 1-1 contest, earning a penalty kick for Oak Mountain.
Guffey took the penalty kick, and calmly placed the kick beyond the keeper’s reach for his brace and the game-winning goal.
As usual, Oak Mountain saw team efforts up and down their roster in what has become a staple of the season. In goal, Zay Brown was stellar, with several great plays to keep Vestavia from marking more than the single tally.
The victory avenges last season’s playoff loss to Vestavia, and sends Oak Mountain to the 2nd round of the playoffs. The Eagles will face the winner of tomorrow night’s Mountain Brook vs Hoover contest, either Friday or Saturday, game venue to be determined based upon the opponent.