RIPLEY • New Albany and Ripley locked up in a deadlock for 100 minutes of soccer and the final verdict came down to penalty kicks as New Albany gained the advantage and earned the division win. The teams were tied 1-1 after regulation and still at that score after 20 minutes of overtime.
The match came down to the penalty kick stage to determine the outcome and New Albany keeper, Ray Bright turned away three of five shots on the goal.
"In normal circumstances, you ask your keeper to make one stop to give your chance a team to win," New Albany coach Caryl Vogel said. Ray made three, which is ridiculous.
"They weren’t misses, he had to make a save on all three. That was huge for him, I think it will be a great boost for his confidence in goal, and help us throughout the remainder of our season."
New Albany was the first up in the penalty kicks and their first attempt sailed over the bar. Bright deflected the Ripley attempt off to his right to keep the count even.
Jorge Favela was the second shooter and fired a shot inside the right post for the advantage. However Ripley followed with a well-placed shot inside the left post.
A bit of providence helped the Bulldogs helped the Bulldogs next as Uriel Aguirre's shot was deflected by the Tiger keeper, but he was ruled to have come off his mark on the line in the net and Aguirre was awarded another shot. He didn't miss this time and the Bulldogs went up 2-1. Again, Ripley answered with a goal, this one going inside the right post.
Parker Clayton was next up for the Bulldogs and he drilled a shot into the net for a 3-2 advantage.
Bright deflected the fourth Ripley attempt and the Bulldogs narrowly missed another goal, but the Tiger keeper made an excellent play to deflect the shot.
Bright stoned the shot for the fifth shot with a great defensive play and the Bulldogs celebrated the win after the hard-fought contest.
"It is a huge win for us as we look to solidify a place in the MHSAA State playoffs," Vogel said. "We are currently 3-0 in division, with some very important games vs Tishomingo County, North Pontotoc, and Corinth coming up.
"Traditionally we have split with Ripley in division play, getting a win in both matches helps us as we move towards our goal of being Division 1-4A champions."
Clayton scored the goal in regulation for the Bulldogs during the 35th minute as he sneaked a shot past the Ripley keeper inside the near post. The teams went to half with the Bulldogs up 1-0.
Ripley tied the contest in the 50th minute as Luna found net and the teams never scored again through regulation and overtime.
"This was another game that we had to grind out against a very strong opponent," Vogel said. "I would say we had two quality chances in regulation, and Parker Clayton came through clutch to finish one of those for us.
"The rest of the match we spent a lot of time defending, and trying to counter on them. Ripley is a team strong in possession, our game plan was to find the space in behind and spend most of our energy on keeping their potent attack in front of us. I thought the boys put in a tremendous amount of effort, many of them put in a full 100 minutes."
(G) New Albany 6, Ripley 0
Sammi Jo Doyle put on a clinic in the opening match as the New Albany forward scored the hat trick plus one in the 6-0 division win.
"All of our passes were really good tonight and we had a bunch of assists which is good, we just really worked together really nice tonight," Doyle said. "That's what led us to the win."
Doyle gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead in the 14th minute as she sent a shot in from about 30 yards out for the 1-0 advantage.
Doyle got the assist on the next goal as she found Rosa Lopez in the 21st minute. The duo hooked up again with the same results in the 25th minute as Doyle fed Lopez for another shot and goal for the 3-0 lead.
Doyle sent in a long floater from 38 yards out to up the score to 4-0 in the 38th minute.
Doyle got the hat trick during the 53rd minute and added an insurance goal two minutes later for the final 6-0 margin.
"We were missing one of our key players, Caroline King, but when she comes back we will be really strong and work together much better," Doyle said. "I am very blessed and so happy because it's (win) is so good."