The Lady Hilltoppers scored early and often, building a five-goal halftime lead and eventually earning a 7-0 win over Daniel Boone in the District 1-AAA soccer semifinals Tuesday night at Indian-Highland Park.
“I’m happy with the result,” said Science Hill head coach David Strickland. “The girls played well. I thought we kept the ball well, and we kept it on the floor. I think we created somewhere around 39 chances tonight, so it’s kind of hard not to be happy with it.”
Improving to 15-2-1, Science Hill moved into Thursday’s championship against Tennessee High, which begins at 6 p.m. The Lady Vikings surprised Dobyns-Bennett 4-3 in Tuesday’s other semifinal.
Senior Riley Cox was ready to go from the get-go. She assisted on the first goal, and then added scores of her own in the 25th and 33rd minutes.
She said any game can weigh on the players’ nerves, even in a favorite role.
“Any game is nerve wracking,” said Cox. “We came into the game knowing we needed to win, obviously. We knew we needed to possess the ball, finish the opportunities we had, and score goals.”
Cox’s second goal came in the middle of the box, where she was point blank in front of the goalie and defenders at her sides.
“You have to keep your composure any time you’re in front of the goal,” said Cox. “So when you get the ball, you just have to know where you’re going to place it.”
The Hilltoppers also got a pair of goals from Savannah Fields. Joining Fields in the scoring mix were Sydney Jordan, Paige Carlsen and Tori Sparks, who also chipped in with two assists.
“We went forward tonight and created a lot of chances,” said Strickland. “It was really good combination play that included multiple people, where they linked up. Their goalkeeper had some saves, but we really made it easy on her at times by playing it right to her. But if you are creating chances, goals will come.”
Strickland said there are some specific things his team needs to do.
“We’re going to have to keep them under great pressure, and not give them opportunities to get in behind,” said Strickland. “We need to retain the ball as much as possible, and make them work hard.”
TENN. HIGH 4, D-B 3
The Lady Indians jumped ahead 2-0, but Tennessee High stormed back — thanks in part to a controversial penalty kick just before halftime that allowed Tennessee High to tie the game.
Emma Arnold had three goals for the Lady Vikings while McKenzie Guest had three scores for the Lady Indians.