Nordan soaks in North win, All-Star experience
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Jul 16, 2013 | 2994 views |  0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MONTGOMERY — The North continued its dominance in All-Star Sports Week girls soccer Tuesday night, but afterward, Faith Christian goalkeeper Sydney Nordan wasn’t thinking much about that.

As she stood next to the blachers with her mom, dad and two friends from home, she thought past the North’s 5-2 win over the South and instead mentioned her favorite part of the All-Star Sports Week experience.

“It was just great to bond with girls from all over the place. Some of them you don’t know, but I’ve seen a lot of girls here and thought they’re good athletes,” she said. “It was just an awesome team-bonding experience, and I may never see these girls again, but I will always remember this experience right here.

“It’s such a great honor.”

Nordan made the most of Tuesday’s game, playing the entire 40-minute second half and recording three saves for the North, which took a 10-2-1 lead in the series over the South.

“Victories are always sweet. My team was really good, and I give all the credit to the team,” Nordan said. “On Monday, we saw that we had chemistry, and some of us had played club together so we knew each other. I thought it was going to be a good game and I’m glad we won.”

After the North took a 1-0 advantage 10 seconds before halftime on a goal by Amanda Baker, who scored three goals and earned the North’s most valuable player honor.

Nordan watched her team take a commanding lead in the second half.

Briarwood Christian’s Claudia Day scoring back-to-back goals before North Most Valuable Player Amanda Baker of Northridge added her second and third goals of the night.

The South did not have one shot on goal in the first half. However, when Nordan took the field the opposition suddenly began taking the offensive more frequently.

“It’s always more difficult in the second half because that’s when your defense is tired, everyone is tired,” she said. “The other team typically thinks since the time is running out, and they have to score and score. They normally start to pressure.

“Yeah, there’s normally frustrating with your defense, but mine did awesome. Even though they got those two goals, and my defense should have been there, it’s OK.”

As time ran down and the South got more aggressive, a pair of Hamptons got the best of Nordan.

First, Alabama Christian’s Hampton Brinson weaved in and out of the defense with 14 minutes remaining before Nordan dove for the ball near the top of the box. The ball trickled in the goal past her. Then 10 minutes later, the South’s Most Valuable Player, Jane Hampton of Trinity Presbyterian, was roughed around before breaking through the defense and making a strong kick past Nordan, who was the last line of defense.

“Breakaways are very difficult and usually the goalkeepers aren’t even supposed to make the save,” Nordan said. “My defense wasn’t there for me, and I knew I had to come out, I did and I was committed. I knew what I had to do and that’s what I did.”

However, the two South goals didn’t play much of a different in the outcome as the North held a16-5 advantage in shots on goal.

After the win, standing beside the same bleachers as her parents and friends had worked their way to near the entrance gate, Nordan spoke confidently of her and her teammates’ performances. Confidence is also what she said she can use most when she returns to the field for Faith next year.

“A lot of players sometimes don’t have the confidence so they can’t do what they want to do. Once they have the confidence and realize they were chosen for something like this, they know they can play with these people,” she said. “For example, I’m nervous to go to a new club, but after playing in this with some girls from Vestavia, I know I can be good for this team and they can be good for me.”

Softball

There wasn’t much more Cherokee County standout Madison Millsaps could do for the North All-Stars in Tuesday night’s softball doubleheader in the 17th Annual All-Star Sports Week.

She went a combined 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs in the two games, which the two teams split.

After the North was shut out 3-0 in Game 1, Millsaps played a large role in the second game with a two-RBI double in the fourth inning. Before the South could get out of the inning, the North scored four runs to go on to win 8-4.

Despite the North being unable to score in the first game, Millsaps doubled off an opposing pitcher, one of several for the North.

Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.
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