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The Starkville Academy Volunteers got the month of February off on the right foot Thursday afternoon.
Starkville Academy jumped out to a 3-1 halftime lead and went on to a 5-1 victory over Hillcrest Christian at the Starkville Sportsplex.
Teamwork appeared to be the name of the game for the Vols as Zach Slaughter scored a pair of goals, while Michael Temple, Jake Goodwin and Jamison McKee had one goal each.
Other than Temple's, the other four goals were scored by underclassmen.
"We are a young and inexperienced team, but hopefully we can keep progressing to the playoffs," Slaughter said. "We maybe have two or three seniors starting so we're a young team that's getting better each game."
Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner was pleased with the performance of the entire team, but particularly the three center midfielders in Slaughter, Goodwin and Jack Burton.
"I thought they were the difference for us," Gardner said. "They really controlled the middle of the field which is the most important. I told them if we win that battle and the 50-50 balls in the middle of the field, then we would win. I was happy with their performance."
Goodwin and Slaughter had two of the first-half goals after Temple scored first for the Vols.
In the second half, McKee caught up with a long kick out of goal by SA goal keeper Colby Henderson to knock it into the opposing net to increase the advantage to 4-1.
Slaughter put the finishing touches on the victory with his second goal of the match midway through the second half.
"We passed very well," Slaughter said. "We give a lot of effort and our coach makes us do that. If we haven't given the effort, we wouldn't have won this game."
Starkville Academy improved its records to 4-6 overall and 3-6 in the conference. The Vols host Copiah Academy Saturday at 11 a.m.
"We're back to the winning ways and can feel good about ourselves," Gardner said. "We'll take this as a positive and get some rest (today)."View more articles in: