Photo/James Pugh

Call it a clean sweep. West Jones soccer completed a clean sweep in Region 5-5A Friday night before the Christmas Break, beating Laurel girls 6-1 and holding off the Laurel boys, 1-0. 

As the first round of region play ended Between the Bricks Friday night, both squads (Mustangs and Lady Mustangs) remain unbeaten in 5-5A at 3-0. 

West Jones boys improved to 8-6-1 overall, while the girls collected win number 10 on the season at 10-5.

Boys: West Jones 1, Laurel 0.

Luis Olivares scored the solo goal in the match. The goal for West Jones came in the 6th minute of the match and was all the Mustangs needed score-wise.

“We’re 3-0 in the region and have a seven-goal differential heading into the Christmas Break,” said West Jones head coach Josh Sullivan. “That’s got to feel good. Hats off to Laurel tonight, though. They played great. Coach Martinez always has those kids ready to play. They fought and gave us everything they wanted. And they’re all class acts.”

As the game drew closer to the final whistle, the intensity grew more intense. Laurel challenged West Jones defensively, and for the majority of the time, in the middle. The Mustangs held their lead, though, till the end. 

“When we stretch a lead to 2-0, we settle in better,” said Sullivan. “But a 1-0 lead, you can see us press a little more. That is something we’ll work on more over the break. It’s like playing 0-0, you have to keep your smarts and composure.

“We got out of playing West Jones soccer tonight a little bit in the middle, but once we got back to it, we cleaned it up.”

The focus moving into the Christmas Break and on the other side as the final stretch of region play goes forward? To not be complacent said, Sullivan.

“We can’t be content with what we’ve done so far,” said Sullivan. “We have got to want more. We have to stay hungry. We can not be complacent and content we what we’ve done so far.”

West Jones returns to the pitch on Jan. 11, 2019 to face Clarkdale at home in Soso.

Girls: West Jones 6, Laurel 1.

While it took several minutes to get the game’s opening goal on the boards, Bre Carr’s goal in the 15th minute started a domino effect. Katie Beth Sumrall, then Carr again, followed by Ella Jefcoat, punched in first-half goals in the 19th, 29th and 37th minute to give the Lady Stangs a 4-1 lead at the half. 

West Jones girls added two more goals in the second half on the foot of sophomore Bailey James. 

“We’re very pleased to be in first place at the break,” said West Jones head coach Craig Winship. “We set our goals, and this is the best case scenario for us at this time. 

“Now we have the Christmas Break to heal up some injuries and head into the new year fresh and ready to do it all again.”

With four different players scoring goals Friday night, Winship said that’s the place he likes his team to be.

“That’s the thing,” said Winship. “I don’t think we have anyone with 10 goals yet on the season and we’ve scored almost 60. Our girls are good about spreading it out and playing like an unselfish team. It’s so much fun to coach a team like that. 

“There were several times tonight where one of our girls could have taken a tough shot, but laid off of it for another person running in space. That is hard to do. I’m proud of them.”