TUPELO – In what is usually a close contest between the two schools, the Tupelo High boys soccer team got the one goal it needed to knock off perennial large-school power Clinton.
“Anytime Tupelo and Clinton match up, you can throw out the rankings and you can throw out a lot of stuff,” Clinton head coach Jeff Long said. “It’s just going to be a tight game. It’s usually a one-goal game.”
On a defensive breakdown by Clinton in the first half, Tupelo’s Nick Rainey was able to break open and score the only goal of Saturday’s late morning/early afternoon match during the Tupelo Youth Soccer Association/Tupelo High School Classic at the Ballard Park Sportsplex.
“They made a defensive error in the back and we were able to capitalize on it,” said first-year Tupelo head coach Nathan Hall. “They had some chances early on and they had some chances late.
“So, we’re fortunate and very thankful that we came out with the win today.”
Former Golden Wave head coach Mark Enis was on hand to watch the Tupelo team earn its third win of the season.
Meanwhile, Clinton (2-1-1) suffered its first loss of the year.
Later Saturday, the Wave improved to 4-0 on the season with a 6-1 win over Newton County (0-3). Luke Mason, Hunter McGhie, John Nabors, Gage Rose, Nathan Wallace and Andrew White each had a goal for Tupelo, while Jay Jourdan (two) and Forrest Timmons had the assists.
Tupelo plays next on Friday night at Pontotoc.
Lady Wave roll to 5-0
Tupelo freshman Chardampé Hannah especially enjoys it when several of her teammates get into the scoring act.
Hannah, who was fourth on her team in scoring last year with seven goals, netted a goal against New Hope on Saturday morning, but she was just one of four Lady Wave players to do just that.
Katelyn Alford scored twice and Abby Phillips, Erin Tucker and Katie Taylor each had a goal apiece to lift the Lady Wave to a 6-0 victory over New Hope (1-1) in the TYSA/THS Classic.
“A lot of people have been scoring,” Hannah said about her team’s undefeated start to the season. “It’s not just one person. I like it when not just one person is getting all the glory.
“I like the team feeling.”
Georgia Russell, last season’s Daily Journal Player of the Year and 40-goal scorer, didn’t score in Saturday morning’s game, but did earn an assist while playing her outside midfielder position.
Former Lady Wave star and Ole Miss standout Hannah Weatherly, who had scored her fair share of goals in her career, watched Tupelo’s offensive production from the sidelines.
She shared some words of encouragement with Russell, who, as a junior, has already committed to Ole Miss.
The Lady Wave won their second game of the day, 5-0 against Clinton.
“No, not all,” Tupelo head coach Shelley Miller said when asked if Tupelo regularly beats Clinton by such a margin. “It’s always good competition, a good game.
“I think that after we went up a couple of goals, they kind of gave up a little bit. I don’t want to say gave up, but they didn’t play quite as hard anymore.
“It looked like their keeper kind of slowed down on her saves and things like that, which made it a little easier for us to attack.”
Four players scored for Tupelo, which improved to 4-0 on the year. The defeat was the first for Clinton (3-1-1). Phillips had two goals and an assist in the second half, while Hannah scored once and assisted on Bryson Rial’s goal, the first of the game, in the opening half.
Katie Taylor tallied the first of Tupelo’s three goals in the second half.
The Lady Wave hosts Saltillo on Tuesday evening.
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572
JOHN WILBERT / NEMS Daily Journal