Facing one of the country’s best players, the Tupelo boys soccer team responded nicely to the challenge.
Defenders Luke Mason, Taylor Nabors and Taylor Brewer held forward Jonathan Brown and his Clinton teammates scoreless in Saturday’s match during the Tupelo Youth Soccer Association/Tupelo High School Classic at the Ballard Park Sportsplex. The Golden Wave won, 1-0.
“He’s been one of the more stronger players that we have played,” Nabors said prior to his team’s practice on Thursday afternoon.
In 2008, Brown was one of 40 players selected to participate in the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.
The speedy Brown, who led the Arrows with 16 goals and nine assists last season, got off a shot that headed toward the left side of the goal, but Tupelo goalie Ben Schaefer was not to be scored on.
Schaefer and his defense were spectacular on Saturday and have been through the team’s first four games.
Even with Brown switching over to the opposite side of the field on his team’s offensive end, from the right to the left, Mason, who shadowed him, and the rest of the defense held him in check.
When asked if he thought that he and his other defenders could shut down Brown again when the two teams play once more on Jan. 14 in Clinton, Nabors was hesitant to give an absolute yes to the question.
“Possibly,” said Nabors, a converted midfielder. “We just need to get in his head and then take him out.”
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal