High School Sports

For St. Stanislaus soccer team, No. 3 is just as sweet

MADISON - They apparently don't make championship trophies like they used to.

While St. Stanislaus was celebrating its third straight Class 4A boys soccer championship Saturday afternoon someone dropped the golden ball, cracking its neck on the Madison Central turf. No one fessed up - but who done it didn't remotely matter because it was the Rockachaws' to break after thwarting Amory 3-1.

St. Stanislaus puts itself in elite company with the win as the only Coast boys team to win three straight soccer titles.

"This is historic, honestly. It's an amazing feeling," said junior Corbin Blanchard, who scored one goal and assisted on another. "We knew we had a big target on our back. We won the last two so everyone wants to beat us, but I think we were all relaxed and ready to play."

The Rockachaws went on the offensive early, putting Amory on its heels early, and didn't let up.

"I think we just out-ran them a little bit. The high pressure in the first half wore their legs down and won the game," SSC coach Ryan Joiner said. "Our fitness played a big part because we didn't play our best soccer of the season by any stretch. The early momentum with the two goals helped out a ton."

Blanchard opened the scoring in the third minute. Dustin Bosch whipped a corner kick on goal that skipped through the Amory keeper's hands, off Blanchard's head and into the back of the net.

Blanchard helped add to SSC's lead nine minutes later, tracking down a long pass and centering it for Austin Miller, who booted the ball through a crowd to ripple the twine.

Amory (17-2-2) got on the scoreboard in the 21st minute on a Trey Clark penalty kick.

After swapping chances early in the second half, Bosch pushed St. Stanislaus' lead to 3-1 in the 61st minute on an effort goal in close.

With a defender draped on him and the keeper charging out, Bosch somehow was able to get the ball between the two Panthers and put it in the goal.

"He tried to back-heel it with his left foot at first and the ball spilled back out to him," Joiner said. "The kid has a great left foot. He doesn't score many right-footed goals so I was delighted to see it go in."

St. Stanislaus went through Sumrall 10-0 and Northeast Jones 3-0 before eliminating rival Bay High 2-1 at South State. The Rockachaws defeated Florence and Kosciusko in the last two championship games.