GUNTERSVILLE 3, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL 2 (2 OT, 4-2 IN SHOOTOUT)
Guntersville High School captured the school’s third AHSAA state girls’ soccer championship Friday night with a 3-2 win over St. Paul’s Episcopal in the Class 4A/5A finals of the 2016 AHSAA State Soccer Championships at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park.
The Wildcats (18-4-3) and Saints (19-7-1) battled to a 1-1 tie at the end of the two regulation 40-minute halves, they fought through two five-minute overtimes to set up a final showdown in the shootout.
Guntersville nailed its first three tries by Anna Jones, Carly Sims and Sandy Simpson, Caroline Seale made the first St. Paul’s kick, but junior goalkeeper Grace Mann blocked the two Saints efforts. A Wildcats miss and a clutch kick by St. Paul’s Caroline Lambert set up a final try by Guntersville’s Yesenia Vasquez. Her kick was successful and Guntersville, coached by Mike Jones and Ali Dutton, captured the state title.
The Wildcats also won state championships in 2008 and 2010.
In regulation, Kendall Moore scored the match’s first goal with a kick at 24:45 in the first half for Guntersville. Frances Case tied the match for St. Paul’s, coached by Brian Thomas, at 61:47 in the second half.
Senior midfielder Anna Jones, who had an outstanding match on offense and defense, was named the 4A/5A Championship MVP.
The championship marked the 25th year of the AHSAA State Soccer Championships, which began in 1991. Championships continue Saturday at John Hunt Soccer Complex with Class 7A girls’ and Class 6A boys’ state championship matches at 10 a.m., followed by Class 7A boys’ and Class 6A girls’ finals at 12:30 p.m.
All finals are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Viewers can access at http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/associations/ahsaa.
AHSAA 26th State Soccer Championships
At Huntsville Soccer Complex (John Hunt Park)
Class 1A/3A Girls Semifinals
Holy Spirit Catholic (16-0-0) 3, Montgomery Academy (12-8-0) 2 (5-4 in shootout sudden death)
Westbrook Christian (24-0-0) 6, Madison Academy (18-6-1) 0
CLASS 4A/5A Girls Semifinals
St. Paul's Episcopal (19-6-1) 2, Helena (7-12-0) 1
Guntersville (17-4-3) 3, St. John Paul II Catholic (13-8-2) 2
CLASS 6A Girls Semifinals
Northridge (21-4-0) 1, Northview (14-6-3) 0
John Carroll Catholic (22-2-3) 1, Decatur (17-5-2) 0
CLASS 7A Girls Semifinals
Auburn (24-1-2) 1, McGill-Toolen (18-3-0) 0
Vestavia Hills (21-1-0) 5, Huntsville (16-9-1) 1
Class 1A/3A Girls Finals
Holy Spirit Catholic (17-0-0) 4, Westbrook Christian (24-1-0) 1
Class 4A/5A Girls Finals
Guntersville (18-4-3) 3, St. Paul's Episcopal (19-7-1) 2 (2 OT, 4-2 in shootout)
CLASS 7A Girls Finals
Auburn (24-1-2) vs. Vestavia Hills (21-1-0), Field 2, 10 a.m.
CLASS 6A Girls Finals
Northridge (21-4-0) vs. John Carroll Catholic (22-2-3), Field 1, 12:30 p.m.