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Soccer Hawks blank Webb to remain unbeaten

Dwayne Tucker came up with a stellar performance just when his team needed it most.

Tucker, Hardin Valley Academy Academy's senior goalkeeper, made 14 saves to lift the Hawks to a 3-0 victory at Webb Tuesday, April 12.

He was busy all afternoon but made five point-blank stops early as the Spartans crashed the net.

“They're a really good team,” Tucker said of Webb. “Getting down probably got to them a little, but they kept fighting back.

“They kept trying to battle, but getting a win against them and a shutout really builds our confidence.”

Webb senior goalie Hunter Little posted a brilliant performance in his own right, as the netminders took center stage early in the match. He stopped 13 shots but couldn't solve Hardin Valley forward Nick Skoda, who tallied twice in the first half.

“Hunter played well,” Spartans head coach Seth Harbin said after watching his team fall to 3-2-2 with the loss. But we didn't have an answer for their speed. We can't compete with their speed because they're a school four times bigger than us.

“We had some good opportunities early, but things were different once they started moving the ball,” he added. “I knew this would be a tough game for us to win because this is the quickest team that we've seen all year.”

Hardin Valley (6-0-3) used its speed to take a 1-0 lead when Skoda beat Little on a breakaway in the 21st minute. Skoda had another breakway marker in the 34th minute to give the Hawks a 2-0 advantage, which they held at halftime.

“I just got a couple of good goals through and used my speed to finish them,” Skoda said. “This was big for us because we didn't play our best against West on Friday [2-2 tie — see picture and caption, page 5C].

“Coming out here against a good team like Webb, we needed a win and we needed a shutout.”

Harbin said, “I think we played a little better in the second half than we did in the first half. We probably had more shots than they did but they got the better shots. ... I feel like that if we would've played better in front of Hunter then we could've gotten a draw out of it.”

The squads slugged through a scoreless second half until Jonathan Perelman chipped a marker past Little in the 63rd minute. Hayden Zelem picked up an assist on the game's final goal.

“Hayden Zelem and I are a good combo down there, and he got me the ball,” Perelman said. “Give God the glory.

“We wanted to come in here focused and get a win and hopefully a shutout, and we did,” Perelman added.


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