BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - St. Patrick fans braved a cold night and are glad they did. They watched their Fighting Irish pull out all stops in posting a 2-0 win over St. Andrews.
The first half turned into a defensive contest with both teams missing a few scoring opportunities.
St. Patrick head coach Mario Camps gave his team a good halftime speech, told them what they had to do and the Fighting Irish responded.
St. Andrews had a free kick and got the ball in front of the Fighting Irish goal where keeper Nick Nimmo leaped and tapped the ball away, making sure the Saints would not score.
Eight minutes into the second half, Clark Copponex of St. Patrick took advantage of a free kick, He kicked the ball into the right corner of the net, the keeper for St. Andrews dove, arms fully extended but he couldn't get close to the ball as it exploded into the back of the net propelling the Fighting Irish to a 1-0 lead.
With just under four minutes remaining in regulation, Stephen Alexander used his quickness to get to the ball. He would make a solid move, slid past a defender and was one-on-one with the keeper. Alexander delivered an insurance goal and Fighting Irish fans could taste victory.
St. Patrick would prevail 2-0 as coach Camps and his Fighting Irish celebrated the South State Champion with a shot at the State Title on Saturday in Clinton.
Camps said,"Finally we played a South State championship game on our home field and we beat St. Andrews, a team that has been a thorn in our side for years. Our boys deserved this win and now we'll take aim on the state championship on Saturday."
In 18 years of coaching soccer at Mercy Cross and St. Patrick, Mario Camps has led his teams to 17 District titles, 2 State Championships and were runner-up slot.
Congratulations on a well played game. One parent came up to me after the game and said Camps is the best soccer coach on the coast. His record speaks for itself!