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University High ladies felled in final minute

Johnny Wilson • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:15 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — The girls soccer teams at Sullivan Central and University High have both struggled to find wins in 2018, so the last thing either wanted in their non-conference encounter Tuesday was a tie ballgame.

So, Rachel Robinette won it for Central. And just in the nick of time.

Headed for a probable draw — there would be no overtime sessions in a non-league game — Robinette punched in a rebound for the winning goal with 52.9 seconds to play, giving the Cougars a 2-1 victory over the Junior Bucs.

It was Central's first win of the season.

"We haven't won in a few days so it felt really good to put that thing in the net and finally get a win," Robinette said.

Central head coach Emily Robinette was as proud as a peacock.

"Rachel normally plays midfield or defense for us, but she's scored at Crockett and she's scored here before, so I thought I'd try her up front to see if she couldn't put one in," Coach Robinette said. "She happens to be my daughter, so I'm pretty proud of her."

WINNING GOAL

Robinette was in prime position to score off a Rylie Patrick rocket from 30 yards that the University High keeper just simply could not corral.

"I got it in the center and passed it out left to Rylie, who ended up firing a really hard shot left-footed," said Robinette, a 5-foot-3 senior. "Their goalie sort of fumbled it and it popped out right in front of the goal, so I just tapped it in."

TIME TO LEARN

It's all a learning process for University High, which has one win as well.

"It was heartbreaking, yes," said Ryann Williams, in her first year as head coach after two years as an assistant at University High. "But it provided us with a good opportunity to learn and to grow.

"You really grow from heartbreak, and we'll grow from this."

The youthful Junior Bucs are younger than most.

"Our regular goal keeper (Courtney Henley) broke her back last year and had to have surgery and then in a game last week she got stepped on, so I was kind of slowly trying to work her back in," Williams said. "The girl we had in goal the second half is the newest girl on the team — she's actually an eighth grader."

FIRST-HALF DRAW

University High's goal came early in the game from Kaylee Cleaver, a junior.

The Cougars tied it 1-1 on a Macy McClellan goal in the 34th minute, an easy mark off a great feed from Patrick.

"I didn't want it to end up in a tie," Emily Robinette said. "We've got a couple conference games coming up next week and we needed a win under our belts."

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