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Poplarville soccer on the right track

LADY HORNETS: Despite losing a hard-fought match to the defending state champion Tigers from Northeast Jones, the young Poplarville girls’ team has displayed heart and growth on the way to their 8-2 record this season.  Photo by Jeremy Pittari

LADY HORNETS: Despite losing a hard-fought match to the defending state champion Tigers from Northeast Jones, the young Poplarville girls’ team has displayed heart and growth on the way to their 8-2 record this season.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

The Poplarville High School soccer teams are both enjoying a promising start to the 2014-2015 season under the direction of Head Coach Adam Smith.
The Poplarville boys defeated Northeast Jones 3-0 on Tuesday night, moving to 10-1 on the season and 2-0 in district play. Hornets senior forward Noah Pearson continued his impressive form, scoring two goals to help Poplarville win a crucial district contest. Pearson has now scored 29 goals this season, a staggering number that has already earned him the school record with multiple games left to play.
According to MaxPreps.com, he is the leading goal scorer in Mississippi. MaxPreps.com selected Pearson as the State Player of the Week for Dec. 8-14. In that time, he scored six goals and recorded three assists in two Poplarville victories.
As a team, the Hornets have scored 68 goals on the season, and with that kind of offensive production, there are a lot of assists to go around. Hornets junior Ethan Glasscock has 16 assists this year, a number that puts him first in the state. The Hornets defense has been stellar as well. Goalkeeper Austin Carter has notched six shutouts to accompany 68 saves. Coach Smith attributes the Hornets success to teamwork.
“These guys just play so well together,” said Smith, “They really know what they are capable of as a team.”
Smith noted that the Hornets’ only loss of the regular season came against Pearl River Central, when a portion of their roster was still participating in the football team’s deep playoff run. Since getting those players back, the Hornets have defeated PRC twice with final scores of 6-0 and 4-1.
The Poplarville girls’ team is defined by their effort and their youth. Smith said he has 26 players on his roster, and only five of them are upperclassmen.
The Lady Hornets have not allowed inexperience to keep them from winning eight games. Young players, such as seventh grade Star Newsom and eighth grader Candi Spiers have stepped up on defense. The Lady Hornets are led by junior captain Mallory Nuccio, who has scored 13 goals and four assists in 11 games. Sophomore forward Merisa Myrick has also scored 8 goals and added five assists. Goalkeeper Kelsey Strahan has recorded 5 shutouts and 48 saves over the course of the season.
Smith said he is excited to see his teams finish off the year. Both the boys and girls will be in action at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9 in Poplarville.