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RHS soccer defeats Florence for first time

The Russellville High School varsity boys’ soccer team hosted the Florence Falcons March 19, and for the first time in program history, the Golden Tigers got a win over their rival.

After trailing 1-0 at the half, RHS got two second-half penalty kick goals and took a hard-fought 2-1 victory to stay undefeated on the season at 9-0.

Vicente Machic and Jonathan Salgado were the goal scorers for Russellville, and Daniel Martinez was the winning goal-keeper.

It was a successful night for the Russellville program in more ways than one, as the junior varsity team also came out on top in their match against the Falcons.

“They are the team, the juggernaut around to beat,” Russellville head coach Trey Stanford said of Florence. “They had beaten or tied us every year. We tied them last year, and for our JV and varsity to win the match – it’s just big for our program and a step in the right direction for the future.”

The Russellville boys’ varsity team is ranked No. 3 in the latest Alabama High School Coaches’ Poll in 4-5A, behind Indian Springs and John Carroll. The team is No. 14 in the Super Poll, which ranks all boys’ teams in the state.

Hoover is No. 1 in the Super Poll, with Indian Springs coming in at No. 5 and John Carroll at No. 12.

Both the varsity boys’ and girls’ teams for Russellville are undefeated at 5-0 in AHSAA 4A-5A, Area 14 play, with home matches versus West Morgan scheduled for March 26. Area 14 consists of teams from Russellville, West Morgan, Haleyville, Hamilton and Lawrence County.

The RHS girls have a record of 5-4-1 and have shown steady improvement for associate head coach Fred Ambrosio. In their most recent match, the Lady Golden Tigers defeated Haleyville by an 8-3 final score.

Stanford said the Russellville players and coaches are appreciative of the support they have received from school administration, teachers and the community, and he said that the home crowd versus Florence was similar to that of the school’s first match a few years ago.