Meridian Star


May 11, 2014

Meridian U-14 boys cruise despite frustrating day

MERIDIAN — Tom Gavin’s frustration became more and more visible as the game wore on.

The head coach of the Meridian Futbol Club U-14 boys watched as his team took shot after shot on goal, only to come away with just three hitting the back of a net in a 3-0 win against Southwest Jackson Saturday afternoon.

“As I said to the guys, I’ve never seen a game, coached a game or played in a game where we’ve had probably around 35 shots and only scored three goals,” Gavin said. “As a coach it’s frustrating, because when we hopefully advance in the tournament and play against better opposition, we’re not going to get as many chances, so we need to capitalize on them.”

The win came fresh off a 3-1 victory against Starkville early Saturday morning in what was part of a city-wide tournament for the Mississippi Soccer Association’s Kohl’s American Cup. The tournament, which saw approximately 104 soccer teams and 1,357 players total, was relocated from Tupelo after a tornado hit the city April 28.

Meridian took a 1-0 lead into the break after Andres Alonso scored a goal in the first half. Ethan Clopton had a goal in the second half to make it 2-0, and Alonso scored again off an assist by Reggi Pech. Despite the number of missed shots on goal, Gavin said overall he was pleased with his team’s performance.

“I thought we played quite well,” Gavin said. “The first half, we didn’t play like we could, so I was a bit disappointed in the guys, since we’ve been playing really well. But overall, I was happy with the performance.”

And Gavin admitted having already played a game that morning might have led to his boys being a bit sluggish to start the second game.

“There was about a four- or five-hour break, so for me, it shouldn’t be a problem for a 14-year-old,” he said. “But it probably has an impact. It’s pretty warm outside, and the humidity’s high, so yeah, that probably had something to do with it.”

Meridian keeper Larry Dunn got the shutout.

With the two wins Saturday, Gavin said he hopes his team has a good shot of claiming a championship.

“I think we have a pretty good chance,” Gavin said. “We’ve won two out of two, and the second game we got maximum points, so if we get good results (today) against Pearl River, I’m confident we can advance if we play like we’re capable.”

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