From Dobyns-Bennett’s perspective, the issue wasn’t really settled.
From Science Hill’s perspective, the issue should have been settled.
At game’s end, the Indians were celebrating a 1-0 soccer win after scoring in the game’s final minute Wednesday night at Tipton Stadium.
It was the first area loss for the Hilltoppers (3-1, 7-3) while the Indians (3-0, 7-0-2) continued to enjoy an unbeaten season.
D-B’s Evan Fenyves poked in a header off a bouncing ball just inside the right post as time was running out in the second half.
The match was significant not only because it was Science Hill versus D-B, but also because the Indians beat the Hilltoppers 3-0 in last year’s district finals only to watch Science Hill return the favor in the region and roll all the way to the Class AAA state title game while the Indians sat at home.
Indians’ head coach Chris Woods said the game probably should have ended scoreless.
“A draw was probably the just result,” said Woods. “But we will take the win. I don’t think it was either team’s best game, and we got fortunate to get a late goal.”
Science Hill head coach Brandon Kind had a different take on the contest.
“I felt like it was our game,” said Kind. “From the beginning we missed opportunities. It comes down to finishing. Against a quality team, I will take my team’s performance any day of the week.”
Opportunities were there for the Hilltoppers, but they were not plentiful. Both teams locked in for a defensive struggle.
The defensive domination continued deep into the second half. However, things got just a little loose in front of the Hilltoppers’ goal in the final minute.
When Science Hill tried to clear the ball, D-B’s rebound kick from the left-post side of the box turned into a big hop for Fenyves.
With goalkeeper Andrew Kenneson unable to recover across the net in time, Fenyves had a golden opportunity and cashed it in for a game-winner.
“You always round your run and that’s what I did,” said Fenyves. “And I just headed it in.”
Of course, Science Hill knows Fenyves’ good fortune was born of a defensive mistake.
“He was open because he wasn’t marked,” said Kind. “We just missed the clear and the ball went right to a guy’s head. What are you going to do?”
Of course, both teams know a rematch is very likely in the postseason — perhaps two rematches just like last year.
“They beat us 3-0 last year and it took us all the way to the state,” said Kind. “We’ve got to grow from this like we did last year.”
Science Hill heads to Chattanooga Christian for a tournament this weekend. The Indians travel to the mid-state area for a tournament.