Spalding got a measure of revenge on its crosstown rival, turning a close match into a 4-0 shutout over the Griffin in non-region action at Memorial Stadium. Griffin beat Spalding last season.
Friday’s win was Spalding’s fifth straight to improve to 9-3 overall while Griffin lost its fourth match in a row to fall to 2-9 on the season with one match left.
Both teams played excellent defense in the first half, with each of their defenders making stops and keepers Peter Strnad of Spalding and Caleb Duffy of Griffin making saves to keep the match scoreless for 20 minutes. Spalding’s Harrison Turner broke the scoring drought at the 20:56 mark, shooting a free kick from several yards away over Duffy’s head for the 1-0 Jags lead.
The teams hustled and made plays, but the score remained 1-0 Spalding at the half.
The Jags opened the floodgates early in the second half. Jake Mathis scored off an assist from William Thomas at the 34:20 mark to give Spalding the 2-0 lead and two minutes later, Turner struck again. Griffin keeper Duffy, substituting for regular keeper Martin Gutierrez, left his box to stop the Spalding breakaway, but Mathis made a nice pass to Turner, who had an easy empty-net shot to give the Jags the 3-0 lead.
Griffin had a great opportunity for a goal a minute later. The ball was kicked over the Jags defense to Griffin’s Silent Penn on a breakaway, but Penn missed his shot wide of the net. Brandon King then had a penalty kick for Griffin, but he missed as well. It was just one of several scoring opportunities in the second half the Bears missed.
Mathis scored his second goal -- off an assist from Thomas -- for the final 4-0 margin.
Griffin hosts Harris County Monday at 8 p.m. in its season finale while Spalding hosts non-region foe Alcovy Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be held at Memorial Stadium.