CULLMAN – The 2016 Albertville varsity girls soccer team achieved school history Saturday morning by becoming the first girls team to win a postseason match.
Daniela Reyes netted two goals and Zoie Carroll one, propelling the Aggies to a 3-1 triumph over fifth-ranked Cullman in the first round of the Class 6A substate playoffs at the Cullman High School Soccer Complex.
The Aggies (11-8-1) will travel to Area 13 rival and No. 9 Fort Payne for a second-round substate match Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Fort Payne advanced with a 6-4 decision over Lee-Huntsville.
First-year Albertville head coach Julie Wehby Little said her team was focused and ready to play.
“We knew what we needed to do to come out with a win and we had been practicing that,” Little said.
“The defenders had an excellent, excellent game in keeping them away from the goal until late in the game, and our midfielders are always strong and great at distributing.
“Our strikers are very good at distributing to each other. They’re selfish when they need to be, and they’ll lay it off when they need to.
“I’m just very proud of everybody working together. Everybody that got in hustled the whole time they were in, and that was just a huge key.”
The return of keeper Nayeli Jimenes was another critical factor in the Aggies’ triumph.
“Nayeli had an outstanding game, and we’re just getting her back from an injury,” Little said. “This is her first game back. It was huge to get her back.”
Reyes scored her first goal off a keeper rebound with 14:22 remaining in the first half.
Carroll played a missed shot by teammate Madison Smith and stuck into the net, making it 2-0 with 1:24 left.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Reyes scored off an assist from Mckinley Williams, giving AHS a 3-0 advantage with 38:09 on the clock.
Cullman avoided the shutout by netting a goal with 6:24 remaining in the match.
The Albertville/Fort Payne winner will face the Decatur/Hartselle winner in the Class 6A quarterfinals on Saturday.
“They beat us once on penalty kicks, and we beat them on a golden goal in overtime,” Little said of Fort Payne. “We know what to expect and what to prepare for going into Tuesday.”