Mars Hill Bible Advances to Class 4A Boys State Title Game to Face Defending Champ Bayside Academy

Bayside Academy 1, Oneonta 0 (2 OT, 4-1 in shootout)

Huntsville, AL – In a gripping Class 4A boys’ semifinal soccer match, the Bayside Academy Admirals and Oneonta Redskins remained deadlocked with no score after 80 minutes of regulation and two additional five-minute overtimes. The contest was ultimately decided by a shootout, where Bayside Academy emerged victorious, outscoring the Redskins four to one.

The intense finale was a stark contrast to the defensive standoff of the first 90 minutes of play. With this victory, Bayside Academy (9-4-2) secures its place in the state championship match for the fourth consecutive year and marks its sixth appearance since 2016.

The Admirals are set to face Mars Hill Bible (15-10) for the Class 4A state title. The match is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday at Huntsville’s Loretta P. Spencer Sports Complex at John Hunt Park and will be live-streamed on the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform.

Under the guidance of coach Jamie Ferguson, Bayside Academy successfully defended against two penalty kicks in regulation, pushing the game into overtime. Oneonta, led by coach Luis Vazquez, showcased a formidable defense against the three-time defending state champs. Oneonta’s goalkeeper, William Espinoza, made two crucial saves during regulation.

Bayside goalkeepers Aldo Bryant and Wesley Wells collectively made seven saves, including a penalty kick block each. During the shootout, Wells, an eighth-grader, blocked an Oneonta penalty kick, and another attempt went over the net. Alejondo Arriaga scored Oneonta’s only goal in the shootout.

Bayside Academy’s shooters, starting with seventh-grader John Bell, followed by junior Luke Ferguson, freshman Sam Cunningham, and senior Jack Hicks, successfully made their shots, clinching the victory for the Admirals.

Bayside Academy has previously won state titles in 2016, 2019, 2021, 2022, and 2023, with the 2020 championships being canceled due to the Covid Pandemic.

GREAT SPORTSMANSHIP ON DISPLAY | Oneonta teammate Alejandro Arriaga (12) and Bayside Academy goalkeeper Wesley Wells (46) console Redskins goalkeeper William Espinoza following the semifinal shootout. (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)
Mars Hill Bible 1, Westbrook Christian 0

In a tightly contested AHSAA Class 4A boys soccer’ state semifinal, the Mars Hill Bible Panthers secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Westbrook Christian on Wednesday at the Loretta P. Spencer Sports Complex. The win propels Mars Hill (15-10) into the Class 4A boys’ state championship game, where they will vie for their first state soccer title against the three-time defending champion Bayside Academy Admirals. 

The match’s lone goal came from Mars Hill freshman forward Jesse Parker, who capitalized on an assist from senior Dawson Derr, marking a pivotal moment in the game. Both teams showcased strong defensive performances throughout the match.

Mars Hill’s offensive efforts resulted in only two shots on goal, with the second attempt by Sam Owens being deflected by Westbrook’s senior goalkeeper, Brady Fouts. On the opposing side, Westbrook Christian’s offensive attempts were led by forward Eggo Alabassi, who managed two shots on goal, both thwarted by Panthers goalkeeper Brycen Thrasher. Thrasher and Fouts each contributed full 80-minute efforts for their respective teams, underscoring the defensive battle that defined the semifinal showdown.

The conclusion of this intense semifinal sets the stage for the Class 4A boys’ title game, scheduled for Friday morning at 9 a.m. in the Rocket City.

 2024 AHSAA SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Loretta P. Spencer Sports Complex at John Hunt Park
Semifinal Schedule/Results

CLASS 1A/3A

GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS
Saint James (16-1-1) 7, St. Luke’s Episcopal (14-7-2) 0
Donoho (19-1-1) 5, Madison Academy (9-8-2) 0
Finals, Friday, May 10, 2 p.m.
Saint James (16-1-1) vs. Donoho (19-1-1)

BOYS SEMIFINALS
St. Luke’s Episcopal (19-7-3) 6, Tuscaloosa Academy (14-6-2) 1
Westminster-Oak Mountain (19-4-4) 6, Tanner (18-6-1) 1
Finals, Friday, May 10, 11:30 a.m.
St. Luke’s Episcopal (19-7-3) vs. Westminster-Oak Mountain (19-4-4)

CLASS 4A

GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS
St. Michael Catholic (19-2) 8, Oneonta (10-12-1), 0
Westminster Christian (17-2-1) 7, Jacksonville (19-3-2) 0
Finals, Friday, May 10, 2 p.m.
St. Michael Catholic (19-2) vs. Westminster Christian (17-2-1)

BOYS SEMIFINALS
Bayside Academy (9-4-2) 1, Oneonta (15-78-2) 0 (2 OT, 4-1 in the shootout)
Mars Hill Bible (15-10) 1, Westbrook Christian (14-13-1) 0
Finals, Friday, May 10, 2 p.m.
Bayside Academy (9-4-2) vs. Mars Hill Bible(15-10)

CLASS 5A

GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS
Gulf Shores (19-5-4) vs. Sylacauga (18-3-0), Wed., May 8, 5 p.m.
Springville (21-1) vs. Guntersville (22-3-2), Wed., May 8, 5 p.m.
BOYS SEMIFINALS
Gulf Shores (19-7-1) vs. Tallassee (20-4-4), Wed., May 8, 7 p.m.
Southside (25-2-1) vs. Guntersville (24-3-1), Wed., May 8, 7 p.m.

CLASS 6A

GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS
Montgomery Academy (13-3-1) vs. Briarwood Christian (14-4-3), Thur., May 9, 9 a.m.
Mountain Brook (13-3-4) vs. Athens (14-7-4), Thur., May 9, 9 a.m.
BOYS SEMIFINALS
Spanish Fort (11-9-2) vs. Northridge (19-5-2), Thur., May 9, 11 a.m.
Homewood (21-2-3) vs. Fort Payne (12-12), Thur., May 9, 11 a.m.

CLASS 7A

GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS
McGill-Toolen Catholic (16-2-4) vs. Auburn (18-3-1), Thur., May 9, 1 p.m.
Hoover (20-4-2)  vs. Huntsville (12-6-4), Thur., May 9, 1 p.m.
BOYS SEMIFINALS
Fairhope (17-3-1) vs. Auburn (16-3-2), Thur., May 9, 3 p.m.
Oak Mountain (27-0-1) vs. Huntsville (14-7-4), Thur., May 9, 3 p.m.

Cover Photo: Bayside Academy’s Luke Ferguson nails his kick in the Class 4A semifinal win over Oneonta. (AHSAA PHOTO | David Holtsford)

Leave a Reply