The Starkville Academy Volunteers started the year by not being scored upon on their home field.
After a couple of dry days where the Vols were finally allowed to play a match at the Starkville Sportsplex, they took advantage of it and defeated the Heritage Academy Patriots 1-0.
SA junior goal keeper Colby Henderson kept Heritage from scoring and he gave credit to the back line for keeping the Patriots from getting in the best position.
"It could have been more on me than there was," Henderson said. "The whole defense did well from Kenny (Coats), V. (Vivek Gosai) and Zach (Slaughter)."
Henderson, who is in his sixth year of being a goal keeper, had to take over in the net for the Vols with an injury to captain Davis Pigg.
"Our goal keeper was fantastic," SA soccer coach Robert Gardner said. "He was phenomenal having to step into the role. We are happy where we are and fortunate we have players to step in and fill roles for us."
Michael Temple got the only goal of the match and put the Vols up 1-0 2 minutes into the match.
Even though unexpected, Gardner was happy for his team to gain the early advantage.
"We talked about having a fast start to the game," Gardner said. "We stretched ourselves a little too much because we were not challenging the 50-50 balls. All credit to Heritage because they were up for the game and they were winning 50-50 balls and tackles. They obviously had a great game plan and came out with it."
With the victory, Starkville Academy improved its records to 3-6 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
It was one of those matches that Gardner said the Vols had to "grind" their way through.
Starkville Academy had chances to put Heritage away in the second half, but failed on three corner kicks.
"I was hoping to get a second one in the second half," Gardner said. "All credit to Heritage because they defended well. We didn't create as much but that was due to their defending. We were able to stick with it and stay together.
"We actually worked on corner kicks and attacking (Monday). We defended them well, but attacking, I thought we were going to get one there in the second half. We were close so we'll just keep on working and next time we can get one or two."
The Vols are back at home Thursday against Hillcrest Christian.
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