West Jones Links
West Jones ends season at top ranked 5A Pearl
February 2, 2014West Jones Jr Sr High School
Pearl. The Mustangs continued their seven year playoff streak on the road in Pearl. The boys were the division 5-5A runner up to Laurel this year.
Senior forward Austin Herrington moved to the sweeper role for the match. “We knew that it would take our best defensive effort of the year to be competitive with Pearl, especially up there,” said Coach Winship. “We made several adjustments with positioning in an effort to contain them. We also knew that we had to build our offense when we had the chance.”
Pearl started the scoring in the 23rd minute of play. The Pirates worked the ball to the left corner and found a gap in the line. The shot went just past the outstretched reach of senior keeper Jacob Hauenstein.
There were several fouls called in the first half. One of those fouls turned out to be quite beneficial to the Mustangs. Senior midfielder Omar Garcia played a direct free kick from about twenty five yards out. Senior Austin Herrington came up on the set piece and flicked the service neatly into the upper right corner to bring the game level again at 1-1.
“Austin’s goal was outstanding,” said Coach Winship. “The pass from Omar was right where we wanted it to be.”
Hauenstein would make a huge save in the closing few seconds of the half to keep the score 1-1 going into the second half.
Pearl maintained the bulk of possession in the second half, but neither team could find the goal. The Mustangs’ strategy of bending but not breaking on defense was holding up to the task.
With nineteen minutes remaining in the contest, the Pirates scored their second goal of the game.
The Mustangs would get another great opportunity late in the match when the Pearl keeper caught a ball, laid it down and dribbled towards the corner before picking it up again. Junior midfielder Kyle Estess sent a chip into the box, but the Pirate defense sent it away.
“Even though we came up one goal short, the boys never waivered from our plan. They never backed away from them. We will miss our seniors, but we are also looking forward to building on how we finished the year,” said Coach Winship.
The boys finished 7-12-1 and 4-2 in district play.