Saturday, May 1, 2010

6A Huntsville High School Derby Decide Semifinalists

After two 1:0 results over their crosstown rivals in the regular season, Grissom made it three for three over Huntsville to claim a spot in the Boys 6A state semifinals. It's often said the familiarity breeds contempt , but it was a rather gentlemanly affair (only one caution in the referee's notebook), as each team recognized the import of the match. However, in true derby fashion, good chances were at a premium resulting in a scoreless regulation, but a well taken golden goal in the 4th minute of the first extra time period decided the winner.

The Tigers controlled the ball for large portions of the match, but could not find the right magic in the attacking third to beat Drew Hannan in the Huntsville goal. Despite Grissom's holding the majority of the possession in the first half, it was Huntsville who had the better of the chances with several dangerous free kicks from Panther midfielder Jack Malone.

Hannan was the story of the second half as Grissom's attack gained confidence and sent several shots destined for the net only to be turned away by the Huntsville netminder. Early in the second half, Hannan parried a well struck shot only to have it fall to a Grissom foward on the doorstep. The Huntsville keeper used the quickness of a panther to deny the rebound shot and keep the game scoreless.

Grissom won the game with their first real chance in extra time, Michael "Juice" Gjudici received the ball deep in the corner, flicking the ball past the Huntsville defender to create space for a cross. His driven ball found Bradley Boyett waiting eight yards from goal. Boyett's header sent the capacity crowd into frenzied celebrations and Grissom into the semifinals.

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