Starkville Academy scored four goals on Thursday night to shut out the Patriots of Heritage.
“This was the best game we have played, especially in terms of the philosophy we are trying to implement” Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner said. “We were able to translate what we did in practice into a game. After watching us play, I am very encouraged as a coach and happy heading into the break.”
Offensively, scoring for the Volunteers was evenly split amongst the halves as Drew Pellum and Matt Jones each scored during the first half, while Pellum and teammate Dylan Dempsey found the net in the second.
The Volunteers also shined on defense as they managed to keep rival Heritage out of the net all night.
“It is a rivalry and it is our rival in the area,” said Gardner. “It may not be a conference game, but it is a rival. I was excited to get the win and we played the soccer the right way.”
Pellum led the Volunteer charge with his two goals, which his coach attributes to his work ethic and desire to fight for what he wants.
“Drew has been fantastic for us this season. He is a great leader and influence for our team,” Gardner said. “He has seven goals in five games. His movement, his creativity, he just has a fantastic commitment to the team. It is something that at the end of the day separates players. If you are willing to fight for it, you are going to be ahead at the end of the day.”
With the victory Starkville advanced its overall record to 4-0-1 overall and maintained a 1-0 conference record heading into the holiday break.