By Teddy Couch, Gadsden Times —
SOUTHSIDE — The theme of the night for Southside was to remain calm, cool and collected throughout the entire match.
It worked as Class 4A-5A, No. 4 Southside shut out 1A-3A, No. 2 Collinsville 3-0 on a chilly Tuesday night at Barney Hood Stadium in a battle of top boys high school soccer programs.
Isaac Franklin gave the Panthers a 1-0 advantage early on in the 13th minute. Franklin’s free kick bounced off a Collinsville defender and the midfielder was able to kick it in afterwards.
Southside (8-1-1) also scored early in its lone loss and tie of the season. Coach Randy Vice wanted his guys to play like they were two goals down the entire match for that very reason.
The Panthers responded, as they held a fast Collinsville team off the scoreboard, with Jaren Greene recording six saves in goal.
Southside took the lead into halftime and added its second goal on another Franklin goal in the 51st minute. Carlos Herrera scored the Panthers’ final goal nine minutes later from around 35 yards out.
They Said It
“Coming in to this, we kept the mentality that this team could stand up to us harder than other we’ve played so far, including Fort Payne (Southside’s lone loss of season). (Collinsville) has really shown an effort and it shows in the rankings right now that they are second place. We have to give that respect and hopefully they gave us that same respect coming into this game. Overall, this game gave us a big confidence boost heading into the next one.” — Franklin
“Collinsville is a fantastic team. This is a great representation of playoff-type soccer. They are very fast and we had to make some adjustments like we will have to make for the rest of the season. That’s why you play these games.” — Vice
“When we got down to the end in the playoffs, we are going to see teams like (Southside). Coach Vice and I talk a lot and we arranged this game. … Collinsville is always trying to play bigger schools because we’ve been dominating our area. We’ve been playing bigger schools and it just helps us get better playing these type of games.” — Collinsville coach Jeff Stanley