Brookhaven sees seven goal scorers in win

Published 10:31 am Friday, December 15, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Seven different Panthers scored in Brookhaven’s 7-0 win over McLaurin in a non-district match Thursday night. The last goal came off the foot of Bryce Smith to clinch a mercy rule victory. 

Smith is a senior goalkeeper and has never scored a goal in a regular season varsity game. He has played goalkeeper ever since he started playing at Brookhaven High School. Michael “MT” Stewart, a senior forward, said it was great to see his teammate score.

The plan was for Smith to go infield to try and score in the game against McLaurin and if he didn’t score, he would have a chance against Natchez High School Friday night. Smith was out of breath after the match. 

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“I don’t know how you do it,” he said to Stewart. “It was something.  It felt great.I had only scored in a scrimmage. Finally putting the ball in the net was awesome. I have a lot of respect for our strikers. I could never do that.” 

Ethen Lopez opened the scoring for Brookhaven in the first half. He was followed by Michael Stewart and Michael’s brother Crews Stewart. John Sones scored a penalty kick 16 minutes before halftime to extend the lead. 

Braden Bairfield chipped a shot into the goal eight minutes before half time and Walker Williams struck a goal 3 minutes before halftime. The passing was surgical and the movement off the ball created chances. 

Ole Brook is 10-5 this season and 1-2 in district play with five district matches left. One of those district losses came on penalty kicks against South Jones. The loss is a motivator for the Panthers as they build up to a match against South Jones on Tuesday. 

“We are ready and building up for it. We just have to focus. We have to be consistent and unselfish,” Stewart said. 

This season is the last chance Brookhaven’s 11 seniors have of winning a state title. Stewart said they have played soccer together since they were in sixth or seventh grade and the team strives to make the most of the 2024 senior class’s final season. 

“It motivates us. We want to put it all together and make a deep playoff run,” Smith said.