Two long-range assists by Patrick Ross helped Madison Central High hand Ocean Springs its first loss 3-1 Friday in a matchup of the top two ranked MHSAA boys soccer teams.
Ross’ first assist in the 10th minute gave the Jaguars a 2-0 lead when his free kick into the box was headed in by Gillian Watson.
“I was trying to find Gillian, the biggest guy on the field,” said Ross. “I was trying to find him so he could get his head on it.”
Ocean Springs cut the deficit to 2-1 before halftime when Eli Troutman scored on a free kick from 30 yards. The Jaguars’ final goal came early in the second half as Ross shot the ball forward and Johnathan Goliday put it in the goal.
The three goals equaled the number the top-ranked Greyhounds allowed in winning their first nine games.
It took only 30 seconds for second-ranked Madison Central (11-1-2) to open the scoring when Lewis Tillman scored on an assist from Ridge Brohaugh. “When you get a goal that early in the game it really swings the momentum,” said Jaguars coach Cecil Hinds. “It puts the other team back on its heels.”
Zac Tranum made six saves for the Jaguars, including two stellar stops. He denied Jimmy Courville from point-blank range in the first half, then stopped a hard drive by Troutman in the second.
It was the first of five games in eight days against top teams for Ocean Springs. The Greyhounds play fifth-ranked Northwest Rankin this morning, Jackson Academy, No. 2 in the MAIS rankings, this afternoon, fourth-ranked Biloxi on Tuesday and Jesuit of New Orleans, the top-ranked team in Louisiana and the only team to beat Madison Central, on Dec. 21.