Despite excellent individual performances, the Starkville Academy Volunteers were not able to fend off Jackson Prep as the Volunteers fell 4-0 on the soccer field.
“I am pleased with the team,” Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner said. “I thought we had some really good performances in all facets of the field. I think Zach Slaughter is just an amazing player and I’m happy he plays for me. I thought he had a complete performance (Thursday night). The whole back line really, Blake Slaughter as well, and then Colby Runnels, they were really difficult for Prep to break down."
Four different Patriots scored for Jackson Prep beginning with Chandler Pride who scored early at the 5-minute mark to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
Pride’s teammate Westin Graves was up next scoring at the 20-minute mark.
Starkville Academy held Jackson Prep scoreless for the remainder of the half as the Volunteers entered halftime trailing 2-0.
Coming out of the half the Patriots returned to offense as John Abraham found the goal at the 60-minute mark to take Jackson Prep up 3-0.
Rounding out the quartet of Patriot scorers was Robert Tramel who scored at minute 65 to close out the game and secure the shutout for Jackson Prep.
Rather than dwelling on the loss, Gardner spent his time after the game reflecting on the lessons learned and what his team can take away from this game.
“There are plenty of positives to draw from,” Gardner said. “I think the main one was the work rate. We were forced into working a lot harder than we have been. We played a team that’s well-coached and in good shape, but we worked very hard. We communicated well and we kept our team structure and shape.
Like I said, there are a number of positives to draw from and I’m excited about it.”
Moving forward, the 8-2-1 Volunteers welcome Presbyterian Christian School to town Saturday for a 1 p.m. match at the Starkville Sportsplex.