By JD McCarthy
For the Opelika Observer

Depth is one of the most important characteristics of a good team and the Lee-Scott boys’ soccer team showed theirs in wins over Southern Prep and Pike last week.

The Warriors were without starting midfielder Austin Marlin against Southern Prep on Thursday and were forced to make “a lot of adjustments” to cover for him.

The moves were enough for the Warriors to pick up the win but head coach Missy Martin thought the team could have played better.

“We didn’t play well at all. We started the game very poorly; we couldn’t hold the ball,” she said. “We did not play well, so it was fantastic to get the win.”

The poor start Martin referenced had the Warriors trailing 2-0 at half before they started battling back in the second half.

They were able to score in the first minute of the second half but gave up another goal right after to keep the deficit at two goals. That’s when Jackson Curry moved to attacking midfield, which sparked the offence as he netted a goal to make it 3-2.

The score was the same with just over 10 minutes to play when a Southern Prep player was given a red card, sent off, and all of a sudden, the Warriors were up a man and had a chance to steal a win.

The Warriors wasted no time in pressing their advantage as Walker Fisher scored a “brilliant” goal to tie the game with just minutes left to play. Fisher is just a freshman and has previously relied on his athletic ability but has started to figure “it” out according to Martin. 

Then, as he has all season Brandon “Oak” Wiersman stepped up and made sure the Warriors got the victory.

With just over two minutes to play, Wiersman was able to get in front of the goal and perfectly opened up his body and kicked the ball to the outside post – but the keeper was there to make a great save.

However, the keeper was unable to secure the shot which proved to be a costly blunder. The ball made it back to Oak and this time, his shot found the back of the net and his team had secured the 4-3 lead – and the win.

While the Warriors needed a dramatic finish to beat Southern Prep, the game against Pike was never in doubt as the shorthanded Lee-Scott won 7-1.

That was despite missing a few key players due to contact tracing. The warriors were down both of their goalkeepers and were still without Marlin. Nevertheless, it was once again Oak who came to the rescue, sliding into the goal against an area opponent.

Oak, who is a starting midfielder and team captain, was a goalkeeper as a freshman and played goalie in the shortened 2020 season but the move left them down two starting midfielders.

That proved to be no problem as the offense exploded behind Aiden Duff’s hat trick.

Seth Roarke, Curry, Junior Epiphano and Brooks McFadden each scored one goal apiece.

With the win, the Warriors improved to 8-3 overall and 4-3 in region play.

The Warriors will return to the pitch on Friday when they play at Fort Dale and are focused on getting everyone back and getting comfortable ahead of the playoffs, something that has taken longer than previous years due to the extensive roster turnover.

The team graduated 11 players last year, had several players transfer in and has been forced to rely on a talented group of freshmen who are gaining valuable experience. 

“These are good freshmen, but they also lost their eighth grade/JV year last year to that experience and getting that confidence,” Martin said.

“I’m excited; I’m still excited about these boys.

I want to win it for the two seniors but again I think the future is really bright.”