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Science Hill, Hardin Valley each get familiar result

Johnny Wilson • May 2, 2018 at 10:24 PM

If a tie is indeed like kissing your sister, then the Science Hill and Hardin Valley boys soccer teams must be all puckered out by now.

There were lots of good passing, some fancy footwork and quite a bit of hard-nosed defense — but no goals Wednesday at Kermit Tipton Stadium, as the Hilltoppers and Hawks played to a scoreless draw.

What else could be expected but another deadlock - each team's sixth of 2018, believe it or not.

Science Hill now stands at 8-4-6 for the season, Hardin Academy 6-5-6.

"It's crazy," said Science Hill coach David Strickland. "Their coach (Nick Bradford) and I were talking about it before the game.

"Both teams have had games - mult-i-ple games - where ya just can't seem to find the back of the net, or maybe you give up something defensively. Either team just needed that one moment of specialness to win the game."

There were no overtime periods due to the game being a non-conference affair.

NEAREST MISS

Science Hill had a few reasonable opportunities to dent the scoreboard, but it was the visitors from Knoxville who let the big one get away when C.J. Rittenberry missed from point-blank range with less than 10 minutes to play.

Hilltopper junior goalie Abe Adams had just laid out to beautifully block an Issac Stephens rocket from the wing, when Rittenberry gathered the rebound and fired from inside 25 feet at a relatively wide-open net.

The shot struck the crossbar and bounced harmlessly away.

"It was a good shot and (Adams) was definitely beaten — nothing he could do about it," Strickland said. "We were fortunate that thing hit the crossbar.

"We talk about games like this and that we're going to need maybe two special moments from (Adams). Tonight he really didn't need to have that because the 10 players in front of him played fairly well defensively.

"But I felt (Adams) did a good job tonight keeping us contained and organized."

NO GOAL, NO WIN

Strickland wasn't displeased with his 'Toppers.

However, at last check, at least one goal must be scored to claim victory.

"We played well,'' Strickland said. "We've just got to have that final product. I thought we moved the ball well, but our final third — what we call the final product — was just not as sharp as it needed to be.

"But at least we're not giving things away (defensively). If we can get that other little bit straightened out — the final product — then we could do some damage."

TOURNAMENT UPCOMING

Science Hill will close its regular season tonight with another non-conference game, this one at Greeneville.

Next week the Hilltoppers will play as the No. 2 seed in the District 1-AAA tournament, which will be held at Tennessee High starting Tuesday.

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