Briarwood downs Mountain Brook in chase for the postseason

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – Briarwood Christian’s girls soccer team picked up a big region win Tuesday, April 6, as the Lions welcomed the Mountain Brook Spartans.

The Lions controlled the pace of the game, and even with some drama in the second half, preserved their victory with good defense in an important 3-1 area win.

Briarwood (8-4, 3-2) suffocated the Spartans’ defense with a relentless attack in the first half. The Lions nearly scored 11 minutes into the game when a collision between Mountain Brook’s goalie and a charging forward from the right side.

The goal attempt was stopped, but it left a wide open goal. However, in a stunning turn of events, an easy attempt from the Lions sailed over the cross bar keeping the game scoreless.

Mountain Brook fended off the Lions as long as they could, but BCS broke through in the 13th minute of play on a corner kick. A perfect pass into the goalie box connected on a header for the first goal of the game. The rest of the first half went without a score, although Briarwood took 14 shots putting nine of them on goal.

The Lions continued to spend much of their time in Spartan territory as the second half got underway. Mountain Brook turned away several more opportunities for the Lions, but ultimately couldn’t deny the host team

Briarwood capitalized with numbers 10 minutes into the half on a fast break. A firm cross from the right side left Mountain Brook vulnerable, and the Lions took advantage with a hard shot into the net for a 2-0 lead that essentially served as the game winner.

However, a penalty kick for the Spartans put the brakes on any celebrations from the home crowd a few minutes later. The penalty found its way into the left side of the net and put the game’s ultimate outcome in question.

The Lions’ defense was called upon to continue to break up the Spartans’ rhythm on offense and did so despite a gutsy effort from Mountain Brook.

The Spartans were much more aggressive after the penalty and had their chances to tie, but the Lions held serve and cleared any trouble from their side of the field.

Briarwood then scored once more with eight seconds remaining to put the cherry on the victory, which keeps them in a battle for the playoffs with Chelsea who the Lions will face to close out area play.