By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Jackson Nabors called it.
The Tupelo High senior soccer player said he was going to score five goals in Friday evening’s home match against Pontotoc.
He did just that – and even assisted on another – as the Golden Wave (8-3-1) romped its way to an 8-1 win over a team that beat them last month.
The 2-1 loss at Pontotoc on Nov. 19 not only served as motivation for the Golden Wave to bring its “A game” on Friday, but to win convincingly.
“We came out here with the mindset that we were going to beat this team to the ground,” Nabors said. “I even told them (his teammates) that we better win 7-0 and I’m going to score five goals tonight. And they believed me and came out and played like I wanted them to.”
The Wave led 4-0 at halftime and would have recorded its second consecutive shutout if Pontotoc’s Fredy Gutierrez didn’t score in the second half off an assist by Diego Pizarro.
In the first matchup, Tupelo was missing midfielder Gage Rose, left back Luke Mason and goalie Ben Schaefer. Mason and Schaefer were playing in a Select tournament, while Rose was out with an injury.
“I don’t want to put that loss on them, but it switched around all our positions,” Nabors said of the Nov. 19 game. “It just messed us up as a team defensively.
Nabors’ five goals – which he predicted he was going to score – were a career high for him and he especially wanted to get one more.
Nabors found his fourth goal to be the most memorable. He was going down the right side of the field and was about 5 feet inside the 18, almost to the 6, when he “slid and slammed it” past the goalkeeper’s hands in the far corner of the net.
After that goal, his head coach put a time limit on his forward.
“I had four and he said I had five more minutes to score two, and I could only get one in,” Nabors said.
Kit Huddleston, Taylor Nabors and Nick Rainey each added a goal for Tupelo.
Schaefer even saw time at midfielder and fellow goalkeeper Nathan Wallace also got to play up top in Friday’s game. Drew White played in goal in the second half.
(G) Tupelo 4, Pontotoc 0
With Hannah McCarty and Kat Stratton in goal, the Lady Wave recorded their fifth consecutive shutout and second in as many nights.
Georgia Russell, Katie Taylor, Erin Tucker and Haley Walker scored for the undefeated Wave (12-0), who fired 42 shots on net.
Chardampé Hannah and Tucker each had an assist against Pontotoc (5-4-1).
Tupelo has only allowed one goal all season – to St. Andrew’s last Friday.