E.A. Sports Today

Sibling shutouts

Brother-sister goalie combination helps send Donoho teams into championship games of Calhoun County Soccer Tournament

Donoho goalkeeper Ross Hagan prepares to clear the ball upfield against Saks. On the cover, Ross’ sister Campbell is the goalie on Donoho’s girls team. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

At Choccolocco Park, Oxford
Friday’s games
Boys bracket

Donoho 2, Saks 0
Oxford 10, Jacksonville 0
Girls bracket
Jacksonville 6, Oxford 0
Donoho 3, Sacred Heart 0
Saturday’s games
Boys championship: Donoho vs. Oxford, 3 p.m.
Girls championship: Donoho vs. Jacksonville, 3 p.m.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Ross and Campbell Hagan were playing in opposite corners of Choccolocco Park’s soccer pods Friday. Their focus was rightfully on the action unfolding in front of them, but they couldn’t help keeping an ear out for what was happening on the other field.

When it came to being in and around the goal they were protecting, what was happening was nothing much, and that’s just the way the Donoho Falcons like it.

The brother-sister goalkeepers both were keeping their opponents out of the net, matching shutouts that carried their Donoho teams into their respective finals of the Calhoun County Soccer Tournament.

Ninth-grader Campbell turned back seven shots as Donoho’s girls blanked previously unbeaten Sacred Heart 3-0. Meanwhile, senior Ross was denying Saks in a boys semifinal 2-0.

Perhaps no one was more nervous as it was all going on than their father, Chris, who positioned himself strategically near the concession stand and kept shifting his attention between the two fields to keep tabs on his two keepers.

“I kept asking my dad how Ross was doing over there,” Campbell said.

Her older brother was wondering the same thing.

“I was thinking about how that game was going the whole time,” Ross said. “Just hoping she wasn’t giving up anything, of course, and trying to focus on this game at the same time. She’s a great keeper; she’ll be really good in a few years. I’m just super proud of her; she’s really come into her own. I hope she feels the same way about me, too.”

He shouldn’t worry. And that thing about being good in a few years, Campbell is pretty good right now. The Lady Falcons have only been scored upon in three games this season and she has played in at least half of every game.

“It’s really competitive, but he’s definitely a lot better than me because he’s a lot bigger and a lot faster and he’s better at throwing himself at the ball than I am,” Campbell said. “I get mad that he’s better than me but I look up to him.”

It’s no accident the siblings find themselves as the Falcons’ last lines of defense. They’re long and tall — Ross is 6-5 and Campbell is 5-9 — and take up a lot of room between the pipes.

Until this year Ross had always been the Falcons’ backup keeper because he’s strong in the field as well. He played in goal the first half of Thursday’s opening-round game against Sacred Heart, then moved into the field in the second half and scored a goal in the closing seconds bending a ball like Beckham.

He was in the net all game Friday against Saks and delivered the first shutout of his career.

“It was kind of a natural fit for both of them because they’re both so tall,” Donoho boys coach Matthew Wright said. “They both play basketball, so both have good hands, so it was kind of an easy fit for us.”

Campbell has played since the seventh grade and was the Lady Falcons’ regular goalie last year. She splits time with Maggie Wakefield, but has gotten more time in the goal lately because Wakefield is more active in the field.

Campbell admitted when she first got involved “I thought I was going to be terrible,” but Donoho girls coach Jay Jenkins said she “took to it like a fish to water” and sees a bright future for her.

Campbell turned away seven shots to get her shutout. She made all the routine saves and one spectacular one to deny Sacred Heart striker Abby Vingers from close range in the closing seconds of the first half.

Both Hagans are expected to be on the line today at 3 p.m. when their teams play for the first county championship. The girls play Jacksonville and the boys play Oxford. Oxford reached the boys final with a 10-0 pasting of Jacksonville, while Jacksonville reached the girls final with a 6-0 win over Oxford.

“He’s our guy,” Wright said. “We’ve got to lean on him, and we have to make it happen. I know we’re huge underdogs; I’ve watched them play. We’re going to do our best and maybe we’ll win. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Here are the highlights of Friday’s games:

Donoho boys 2, Saks 0: Noah Wright scored a goal in each half, the second on a penalty kick, and Ross Hagan made them stand with his first career shutout.

Oxford boys 10, Jacksonville 0: Uber Sanchez scored three goals and Keaton Borrelli and Misael Reyes each scored twice as the top-seeded Yellow Jackets (13-2) continued to roll through the bracket. The Jackets have scored 19 goals in their two tournament games.

Donoho girls 3, Sacred Heart 0: Maryam Salame, Sonny Jenkins (penalty kick) and Lily Wiedmer scored goals for the Lady Falcons. Donoho keeper Campbell Hagan made a point blank save on Sacred Heart’s Abby Vingers in the closing seconds of the first half to preserve a 2-0 halftime lead. Vingers scored six goals in the Lady Cardinals’ opening-round win over Weaver.

Jacksonville girls 6, Oxford 0: Alexa Manuel scored four goals for the top-seeded Lady Golden Eagles (8-1-1) and assisted on both of Hannah Rhodes’ scores. Abby Price logged seven saves in the shutout.

Jacksonville’s Alexa Manuel (15) makes a run in the Lady Golden Eagles’ 6-0 win over Oxford. Manuel scored four goals in the game.

On the cover, Campbell Hagan watches the action unfold upfield in the Donoho girls’ 3-0 win over Sacred Heart. To view a gallery of B.J. Franklin’s photos from all of Friday’s tournament games go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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