The Starkville Academy Volunteers saw a soccer match that could have gone either way at halftime Wednesday afternoon against Copiah Academy.
With a scoreless tie at the half, there wasn't much margin for error for either team.
Matt Jones had a part in all three goals for Starkville Academy in the second half as it went on to defeat Copiah Academy 3-0 at the Starkville Sportsplex.
Jones opened the scorer with an own goal by playing the cross, then the soccer ball went off the goal and a defender into the goal.
The second goal was scored by Jamison McKee on an assist by Jones and then Jones finished the scoring for the Vols by making a penalty kick near the end of the match.
"The defender brought him down and Matt did well to finish it off," Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner said.
The Vols were happy about the victory, their fifth in a row, to help improve records to 7-6 overall and 6-6 in the Class AAA South conference.
After the final goal by Jones, he pumped his fist as if he knew the importance of the match for SA.
"We're on a good streak and are playing as good as we can play right now," Jones said. "This was one of our better games. We passed well. It was a rough game, but we pulled through and what we wanted."
Even though it was a win, Gardner saw some things that needed improvement.
He knows the Vols can perform much better than they showed.
"We didn't play up to our standards (Wednesday)," Gardner said. "I am happy to get the result, but as far as performances go, I've seen better and much better. I'm not going to even say we were tired, but just didn't play to our standards."
Gardner felt SA did a better job of possession in the second half and were able to take advantage of some scoring opportunities.
When it comes to playing East Rankin Academy at home today, Gardner expects a tougher match.
"We're looking for that little step up because that's what it's going to take to win the game (today)," Gardner said.
The varsity only action begins at 4 p.m.
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