Greeneville, here they come.
The University High soccer team advanced to the Region 1-A/AA championship game Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory over Grainger at Civitan Park as all the scoring came from freshmen.
Lowell Williams scored twice and Noah Jones scored once as the Junior Bucs improved to 12-1.
“Overall we did pretty good,” UH coach Victor Chirica said. “For a little bit, we didn’t know what the outcome of the game was gonna be. It was pretty intense and pretty tight. It could go either way. We were just fortunate enough to score.”
UH will play Greeneville for the regional title Thursday at 6 p.m. at Burley Stadium. The top-seeded Greene Devils beat the second-seeded Junior Bucs 3-2 during the regular season.
Greeneville beat Elizabethton 4-0 in the semifinals on Tuesday night.
“That’s a very, very important game for us because we’ve been in that situation for a few years in a row,” Chirica said. “Hopefully this time we’re going to do better. Hopefully we’re gonna win.”
The Junior Bucs have qualified for a sub-state game The winner of the regional championship will stay at home for Saturday’s sub-state game. The loser goes on the road.
Jones opened the scoring in the 25th minute when he blasted the ball into the upper right corner after several of his teammates kept the ball alive in the Grainger penalty area. In the 48th minute, Westley Ongtengco passed the ball behind the Grainger defense and Williams did the rest, dribbling around the goalkeeper and putting the ball into the open goal for a 2-0 lead. Williams later scored again on a pass from Ramiro Rodriguez.
Grainger, which finished its best season ever at 10-4-2, appeared to get on the board first when a long shot got over the head of UH goalie Benjamin Page. But the Grizzlies were called for being offsides on the play, even though none of the offending players figured into the play.
“The guy was not even in the play so that ref needs to know his offsides, that’s all I have to say about that,” Grainger coach Tonya Wear said. “Then we had another... we lost two.
“We had an excellent season. You can’t take nothing away form University High. I wish them the best of luck. It’s just tough when the refs ... you can’t win them all.”
Page made four saves to earn is seventh shutout of the season.