Lady Huskies eliminated by Mountain Brook
By Erik Harris
MOUNTAIN BROOK — After defeating ninth-ranked Gadsden City on Wednesday, No. 8 Hewitt-Trussville was unable to make the quick turnaround, losing at No. 6 Mountain Brook 1-0 on Friday night.
The Lady Huskies finish the season 14-3-3 after reaching the third round of the Class 6A playoffs for the second consecutive year.
The host’s defense had no issues with the short break, holding Hewitt-Trussville scoreless in the Class 6A quarterfinal match.
An unexpected hero emerged for the Lady Spartans in the second half. Freshman Elizabeth Gillespy, who was recently called up from the junior varsity team, delivered perhaps the biggest goal of the season for Mountain Brook.
With the ball seemingly going out of bounds, the Hewitt-Trussville defense pulled up to take the slightest rest, opening a small window that Gillespy shattered with her right foot.
“I still don’t know how it squeaked in,” said Mountain Brook coach Scott Flowers. “It was off a throw in and something happened along the baseline and next thing you know she snuck it in far post.”
The freshman’s score was the first allowed by Hewitt-Trussville this postseason, but that’s all the Lady Spartans needed to take the night and continue their quest for a state crown.
Some early opportunities were missed by the Lady Huskies. Lauren Smith created some nice separation on more than one occasion in the first 40 minutes, but was never able to find the net. The junior came particularly close on one occasion when she banged the ball off the right post.
“I thought Hewitt gave us fits up top,” Flowers said. “Lauren Smith is fantastic, we lost her all night. She just kept getting in, especially in the first half.”
But a salty Mountain Brook defense, which has yet to surrender a playoff goal, offered very limited offensive looks for their guests. Hewitt-Trussville took 11 shots on goal. The Spartans (15-5-2) nearly doubled that.
“They controlled more possession of the game, but I felt like our opportunities were more dangerous,” said Lady Huskies coach Justin Pino. “We had better clear-cut opportunities.”