There is a saying in sports that the effort of a player doesn't show up in the boxscore.
That statement may hold true in soccer more than any other athletic endeavor.
On Thursday at the Starkville Sportsplex, Starkville Academy soccer coach Robert Gardner wished the effort of Austin Miles could have been rewarded with a goal.
Miles came to the sideline toward the end of the 5-0 victory by the Volunteers over Copiah Academy and Gardner was there to greet him.
Gardner told Miles that he deserved a goal for his effort.
"He was fantastic in his work (Thursday)," Gardner said. "He's one of those players that I call it honesty in your work. He's got a very committed attitude and very hard working. Whether it's practice or a game, he's 100 percent committed.
"I was disappointed to run a play where he was not able to score. His work probably created three of the five goals. I'm incredibly proud of Austin and he's a great kid. I can't complain about him in any stretch of the imagination."
Starkville Academy continued its strong play coming out of the holiday break and earned a shutout despite a long layoff.
"We just came in knowing we're a pretty decent team and we just need to fundamentally do what we do," Miles said. "We had practice over the holidays and stayed in tune. As long as we're holding together, we feel good."
Matt Jones had a goal on penalty kick for the Vols and added another goal later, while Jack Burton scored on a corner kick and Davis Pigg got the last goal.
Starkville Academy was productive with muddy field conditions and players that were sick.
"It was as good as we needed to," Gardner said. "We weren't 100 percent healthy. We had a couple sick that played (Thursday). We've got a couple of people coming back from illness themselves and we had one out due to an injury. The reality is that's part of the situation.
"The fact is that we want to be 100 percent healthy at the end and we think we can play three playoff games that will put us in the State championship game. For us to get to that level, we have to select that team consistently rather than being makeshift every time we take the field."
The Vols take their undefeated record on the road today against Parklane Academy.