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Lady Hilltoppers win handily over Tennessee High

Johnny Wilson • Oct 1, 2019 at 10:25 PM

BRISTOL—There's not much a coach likes better than seeing his team play as designed, especially right before tournament time. It's a good sign.

"It is, it is," said Science Hill veteran coach David Strickland, after watching his girls dispose of homestanding Tennessee High 5-0 in a District 1-AAA soccer game Tuesday at the Stone Castle. "I thought the ball flowed well for us offensively and defensively. I thought we were quick to the ball."

Science Hill's second shutout of the Vikings this season leaves the Hilltoppers unbeaten in conference play and 13-3-1 overall, with the top seed secure for the District 1-AAA tournament the week of October 15.

Tennessee High, 8-4-1 overall, will hold the No.2 seed.

SPREADING IT AROUND

Strickland had to enjoy getting five goals from four different players, including first-half scores from senior forward Paige Carlsen and bold freshman Megan Burleson to give the Hilltoppers a 2-0 advantage at intermission.

Second-half goals by sophomore Sophia Youngman and senior Savannah Fields helped SHHS maintain control, as did the give-and-go nugget that Carlsen delivered perfectly to Burleson for a goal with 8:48 to play.

"We did an awful lot on the attacking end tonight," Strickland said. "We hit the posts several times, too, but we just had lots of good attacking play out there.

"We had four girls score plus we had four or five others who nearly did."

BURLESON ON THE RISE

A ninth-grade striker who competes with no fear, Burleson displayed excellent strength and speed to complement her accomplished footwork.

"Megan's going to be an up-and-coming player — in fact, she's playing very well right now," Strickland said. "She's still young, but she has a lot of physical attributes, especially for her age."

DEFENSE SHINES

Science Hill's defensive effort rarely allowed Viking standouts Emma Arnold or Mya Howren to get much of a sniff at the goal.

Hilltopper keeper Miaka Miller recorded the shutout.

"We made their wide runners (Arnold and Howren) do lots of defensive work, deep on our end," Strickland said. "Our two backs on the outside, Allie Torbett and Meggie Powell, worked them both deep on our end, which made it tougher for them offensively."

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