The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

May 10, 2013

UPDATED w/ HD VIDEO: Ridgeway’s OT goal sends AHS to state finals

HUNTSVILLE — Riley Ridgeway scored a goal just over a minute into overtime that sent Athens to a second consecutive state championship game. After two scoreless halves in regulation, Ridgeway’s left-footed shot sailed over the Briarwood keeper’s head to give Athens a 1-0 win.

Due to the “Golden Goal” rule, Ridgeway’s goal ended the game immediately ended the game, sending Athens’ bench players rushing onto the field to mob the senior in celebration.

“Relief, excitement, joy,” said Athens head coach J.B. Hutchinson about his emotions after the game. “The girls said at the beginning of the year, ‘We left unfinished business in Huntsville.’ And that’s been the mantra all year.”

With that mindset, Athens fought for 80 minutes to keep a clean sheet and send the game into overtime. After a first-half with few chances, Briarwood put Athens under pressure midway through the second with several chances at the goal.

With 25 minutes remaining in the game, center defender Mary Claire Breakfield sprinted back to deny Briarwood’s Sara Smeltzer on a breakaway. Briarwood outshot Athens 19 to 8 for the game, including 15-4 in the second half.

“Anything less than a state championship would have been a failure to me right now,” said Mary Claire Breakfield after the game. “We just tried to keep our composure, keep the defense organized and encourage each other.”

For Breakfield and many other of Athens’ seniors, it was their fourth state semifinal.

“You know what to expect coming in, so you’re not as nervous, but of course you always do get the nerves,” said Breakfield. “It’s a great experience. I wouldn’t trade my team for anything, absolutely nothing.”

After weathering a storm of Briarwood attacks late in the second half, Athens regained its composure and responded immediately in the overtime period with a goal. It was the seventh consecutive semifinal appearance for Athens.

Following five straight losses in the semifinals, Athens made it two wins in a row in the state tournament.

Athens will play St. Paul’s at 10 a.m. Friday at John Hunt Park.

1
Text Only
Sports
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee