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Gardner likes performance of Vols

January 26, 2013

Starkville Academy soccer coach Robert Gardner was looking for a complete match from his squad.
He saw that on Saturday.

The Volunteers were able to do something they had never done in beating Presbyterian Christian School 2-0 at the Starkville Sportplex soccer field.

Gardner was pleased with the way his players worked together to accomplish the desired result.

"This is the kind of performance we've been looking for all year long," Gardner said. "We kept our concentration and our focus. For me, I thought our midfield play was extremely good and the organization of our last five players with the back three and the two defensive mids.

"What I was able to see was every player on the field understanding their job and knew what was required of them. When we were in attack, they knew what was required. It was just a superb effort. I was delighted."

Jamison McKee and Drew Pellum scored first-half goals as the Vols improved to 9-2-1 this season and 6-1 in the Class AAA, District 2 conference.

Gardner has watched some moments out of his team this year that were lacking something.
Saturday was not one of those times.

"It was an amazing feeling because sometimes you walk away from games saying 'if Drew hadn't been on top for us, this would have happened,' but it was one of those where you walked away knowing everyone did their job," Gardner said. "It wasn't just one or two, but all 14 (players) working."

Gardner singled out the play of Pellum, Zach Slaughter and Jake Goodwin for their play.

Goodwin said the key to getting "the job done" was playing hard all of the way through the match.
There were specific things worked on in practice that Goodwin said helped.

"We've been working on playing to the forwards," Goodwin said. "They would shield the ball and play it back to me, or they would hold it up and turn it. We've been working on that hard and we got that done."

Goodwin likes the fact that Starkville Academy is playing a nice string of matches without much rest.

The Vols host Heritage Academy on Monday, travel to Hillcrest Christian on Thursday, host Parklane Academy for senior day on Friday and make the trip to Copiah Academy on Saturday.

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