Teamwork the secret behind beautiful play in Brookhaven victory

Published 10:03 am Friday, December 15, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Eliza Smith and Isabella Iles were menaces on the attack for Brookhaven in a 5-0 win over McLaurin Thursday night. The non-district game is followed by a district match at Natchez High School Friday night. 

Smith scored Brookhaven’s first two goals, one of which was rifled off of the cross bar and into the goal. Four of the goals for Brookhaven came in the second half after they had plenty of chances in the first half. 

Lucy Williams, Violet Belk and Iles scored after beautiful runs of play. Brookhaven is playing magnificent soccer right now with great passes, touches and smart runs by players. Smith said helping her team win felt great. 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It is a feeling you can’t compare it to. Goals are great and playing with this team is incredible,” Smith said. “A lot of us have played together since we were young. We practice hard and we aren’t selfish. Isabella and I have played since we were four. We have a connection. It is natural. We don’t have to talk so it saves a lot of time.” 

The attacking pair worked well on the left and right wings in the match. Smith said their natural connection allows them to not scream across the field, they know each player will do so the game is easier. 

Had Brookhaven converted its first half chances the match might have ended 10 minutes into the second half on a mercy rule. Smith said they had a tough time finishing those chances. Brookhaven needed a little bit more composure in the final third. 

Ole Brook is off to a good start this season with a 12-3 record. The Panthers have five district games left before the end of the season and three non-district matches. Smith said they can continue to grow. 

“We can keep putting in the work and staying focused. We will set a standard for this team,” Smith said. “We have young talent and I’m excited to see how this team grows.” 

A freshman, Smith is part of a young and energizing squad at Brookhaven. She has played soccer since she was three and plays for a club team in Louisiana right now. 

“When I step on the field all of the worries go out,” Smith said. “I can think about the game. It helps me be happy and I am really happy playing the game.”