- Alma School District
The Century Mark -03/15/2021
By Kevin Taylor
Alma soccer coach Cory Sturdivant reached the century mark in victories Friday during the Airedales' 3-2 win over Vilonia.
Of course, Sturdivant was more happy about the conference victory, the team's first.
Freshman Kaydin Minshull snapped a 2-2 tie with his first-career goal at the 9:43 mark of the second half.
Alma (2-2, 1-1) travels to Siloam Springs Tuesday.
"This is my 10th year as a head coach, and to have a hundred wins and two state titles during that time, you can't understate what it means," Sturdivant said. "I came in today, not even thinking about that. I knew it would be (100) if we won it, but it's totally not my priority.
"I'm just so proud of how hard the kids have played, because if it wasn't for every ounce of effort they gave, none of those wins from one all the way up to 100 would be possible."
"It was quite the scene out there," senior Ashton Outlaw said. "For coach Sturdy to get that 100th win means so much to us. A milestone like that, it's something big.
"A hundred wins, that's tough to achieve."
It looked for a few bleak minutes that Sturdivant may have to wait for another day. The Airedales led 2-1 thanks to two first half goals from Derick Johnson and Ashton Outlaw.
But Vilonia, which last week earned its first victory of any kind in nearly three years, tied the game thanks to a miscommunication near the Airedales' net.
An errant kick trickled past keeper Johnathan Pulido at the 16:58 mark.
"We're not conceding goals that are incredible goals; it's the simple things like getting communication worked out," Sturdivant said. "You have to trust that guy. For Pulido's first year, he has played incredibly. I told them we'll get those things tweaked."
"I think it was a big shock to all of us," Outlaw said. "It looked like an 'own goal' from my perspective. That stunned a lot of us out there, but we had to dig deep for that last one."
Alma will carry a 2-2, 1-1 record into Tuesday's 5A-West clash with Siloam Springs.
"It's going to be tough this year," Outlaw said. "Coach says we play in the toughest conference in the state. We're going to have to dig deep for every single one of them."
Alma took a 1-0 lead on Johnson's smash with 29:21 left in the first half. Outlaw put Alma back in front, 2-1, with 11:45 to play in the half.
Alma 1, Vilonia 1
GIRLS - The Lady Airedales and Lady Eagles played to a 1-1 standout off in 5A-West play Friday at Citizens Bank Field at Airedale Stadium.
Presli Taylor accounted for Alma's goal at the 20:56 mark of the first half.
Vilonia tied the game with 7:10 remaining in the opening half.
Alma senior Derick Johnson reacts to a play in the first half of Friday’s 3-2 victory. The win was the 100th for veteran coach Cory Sturdivant.