CULLMAN – Cullman clinched the Class 6A, Area 14 title Thursday night. After a slow first half, the Bearcats picked it up in the second, scoring three goals on the way to a 4-2 victory over the Albertville Aggies.
Cullman scored its first goal of the game with 22:27 remaining in the first half as Isaac Rodriguez threaded a nice pass to Miguel Tizapa, who put it in the back of the net. Some great defense and some big saves by Jaron Potter kept Albertville off the scoreboard in the first half, but the Bearcats couldn't add to their lead, going into the half with a 1-0 lead.
Cullman started the second half out strong; at the 33:04 mark, Washington Sheffield put in a short-handed goal after the goalie couldn't handle the ball. Just more than a minute later, Rodriguez put in another short-handed goal and Sam Vermillion added another goal at the 21:02 mark to give the Bearcats a 4-0 lead. The Aggies got on the scoreboard with 9:25 remaining in the game when Christian Ramirez put it in the back of the net; he added another one with 49 seconds remaining. But it was too little, too late as Cullman went on to clinch the title.
"We stuck to the same things that we did in the first half," Cullman coach Casey Harbin said. "We have been playing physical teams week after week after week, so we are getting used to that a lot. It feels really good to win the sectional title; Albertville won it last year, so this was kinda a revenge game for us. We just have to keep improving game by game. We played good tonight, but the question will be, can we win on Monday? Can we win on Thursday? We just have to keep improving step by step to win our remaining games."
Cullman improves to 8-6-2 overall and will face off against Russellville at home next Monday at 7:30 p.m.
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