Cougars show growth of program in defeat

Published 9:11 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Presbyterian Christian School is a 6A MAIS Soccer powerhouse Brookhaven Academy Head Coach Alex Brown uses as a measuring stick for his side. He said after the game the Cougar’s 2-1 loss Tuesday night would have been celebrated in previous years. 

Brown looked around and said he could see somber faces on his team in a post game team talk. The reaction was a reflection of how far the Cougars have grown over the past three years. BA players wanted a win and gave everything they could in the game. 

Cougar fans applauded the squad’s effort at the full time whistle and recognized the valiant effort they gave. Fans gave a similar cheer of encouragement at the end of the first half after Presbyterian Christian School equalized with a penalty kick awarded for a handball. 

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BA had taken an early lead thanks to Reagan Fortenberry’s header off of a corner kick taken by Karen Hernandez. Junior Ava Calcote took a moment to speak to the team after the game as a team leader. 

“We were all down a little bit after the half. Alex did a good job lifting us through that,” Calcote said. “His talk took us to the mental level we needed to finish the game. After the game, I was telling the team we need to keep everything positive and uplifting on the field with smiles on our faces.” 

Tactically, Brookhaven Academy played a great game and worked hard to create chances off of counter attacks. While BA did not dominate the match like they normally would, things hung in the balance from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. 

Presbyterian Christian School took a 2-1 lead with about 20 minutes left in the game when pressure from the Bobcats created an opportunity. Calcote did her best to slide and keep a low shot from dribbling into the goal but it bounced just over her leg. 

Brookhaven Academy cranked up the urgency and started to push for an equalizing goal and nearly got one. A corner kick late in the second half bounced around the danger area before a shot was fired high over the crossbar. 

A fervent energy from the opening whistle propelled the Cougars on attack and in defense. 

“We were excited coming into the game and knew we had to do our best. We kept the defense the same but we slid some players back into the midfield,” Calcote said. “It helped our defense. In a game where you do have to defend more you need good teammates and you have to depend on them and we did that.” 

Brown said it was one of the best performances he had seen. He was not upset or disappointed after the game. Instead, Brown reminded the girls he was proud of their effort. 

His other message to the team was to reflect on the game and look at the growth and improvement and measure it. Tuesday night’s game helps prepare the Cougars for the MAIS playoffs as well. 

“Having kids work their tails off for you is all I can ever ask from my girls,” Brown said. “I’m fortunate to be able to coach such great kids. They played outstanding football tonight for 80 minutes against a 6A school. PCS is really well organized and we had our hands full with them tonight. We had several opportunities going forward and we had 2 chances in stoppage time for an equalizer. The ball didn’t bounce our way there at the end of the match.”