An inadvertent hand touch on a corner kick led to a goal that lifted Rocky Bayou to a 1-0 win over the Port St. Joe girls soccer team on Saturday, December 10.
The loss spoiled an otherwise strong week for Justin Gerlach’s young team, who are now 4-4-1 on the season. Rocky Bayou improved to 2-5 with the victory.
On Tuesday, December 6, the Tiger Sharks brought home a 2-1 win over the Bozeman Bucks (2-4), and followed that with a 4-0 shutout over Franklin County (1-6-1) on Thursday.
In the Bozeman match, sophomore Jessica Dunn and junior Maya Itzklovitz each scored for St. Joe, with freshman Alexa Pavon and 8th grader RJ Gerlach credited with assists. Eighth grade goalkeeper Brooke Peacock recorded 10 saves.
Against Franklin County, Gerlach claimed a hat trick with three goals, while Dunn scored one of her own.
Sharing goaltending duties with Peacock, sophomore Sunny Shearer had five saves.
“We’ve had a great week, and the girls have really started to turn a corner,” said Coach Gerlach. “Most of our girls are athletes in several (other) sports, so switching gears can take a while.”
Saturday’s contest, delayed more than a half hour due to the late arrival of the officials, proved to be a defensive standoff, with neither team able to penetrate the other’s net for the first 50 minutes of the match.
Peacock more than proved her mettle as goalkeeper with a grand total of 15 saves, none more dramatic than a diving stop after a corner kick with 4:05 remaining in the first half.
As the match progressed, the Knights maintained constant pressure on the Shark side of the field, managing one corner kick after another until they finally broke the stalemate on the penalty kick with 10:36 left on the clock.
“That was a tough game,” said Gerlach. “We knew coming into it that Rocky was going to be a good, quality opponent. They always are, (and) they’re well coached.”
“We were prepared, and other than that one mistake it was a great game. I feel like either team could have won,” he added.
“I’m not upset with the outcome. We would have loved to have won, but I think our team played well. I’m sure that we’ll meet again later this year, and I feel confident we’ll be seeing each other in the district tournament.”
“I feel really good about where we are, and the progression we’re making now,” he said.
The next chances for more progress started on Tuesday, December 13, when Jefferson County arrived for a home match, and will continue on Thursday, December 15, when Franklin County visits.