Cavaliers get huge home win

Published 12:55 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

HOGANSVILLE – This time it was Callaway’s night.

Earlier this season, the Callaway boys’ soccer team went on the road and lost to Spencer 3-0 in a showdown for first place in Region 5-AA.

On Friday, those two teams met again, and it was Callaway getting a 2-0 victory on its home field.

Grayson Lambert and Noah Stephens each scored for Callaway, and goal keeper Hugo Lopez made a critical stop late on a penalty kick.

Callaway finished with a 6-2 region record, and it is tied for the top spot with Spencer.

Lamar County still has one region game remaining, and if it wins that one, it will force a three-way tie for first.

“This means that we went through the season, and we beat everybody in our region at least once,” Callaway head coach Mike Petite said.

Where the Cavaliers finish in the region will come down to goal differential between the teams that finish tied for first since head-to-head results won’t apply.

Regardless of where the Cavaliers ended up seeded, they will be able to claim part of a region title, and that would not have been possible without Friday’s win.

“Together as a group this morning we said, we are not losing today,” said Callaway’s Ian Bryan.

“It’s not going to happen, and we weren’t going to let it happen. We came in as a team, and we won as a team.”

Callaway got the scoring started in Friday’s game when Lambert found the net in the 24th minute off of a free kick from Stephens.

Then late in the first half, Stephens took a free kick from about 60 yards away, and the ball somehow found the back of the net for the goal, and Callaway had a 2-0 lead at the break.

Spencer’s best scoring opportunity in the second half came when one of its players was fouled in the box, but Lopez came up with the stop to keep it a 2-0 game.

“We just dug in,” Petite said. “And we had a huge PK save by Hugo, and that was big. What I told the guys is, six weeks ago, we wouldn’t have handled that, we wouldn’t have handled the pressure. We weren’t ready for it. We lost a lead like that before.”

The Cavaliers won’t play again until April 10 when they face Kendrick, and they have four games remaining in the regular season.

If the Cavaliers are seeded first or second in the region, they’ll host a playoff game, and they’ll go on the road if they’re seeded third.

“We just want to keep going, and keep supporting each other,” Bryan said. “Like coach Petite told us in the huddle, he has a process that he’s laid out for us, and this is part of it.”

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