The Greeneville girls’ soccer team may not have won style points Wednesday afternoon but managed to advance into Thursday’s Class AA state tournament semifinals at Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro.
Ally Johnson scored the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute after a penalty kick as Greeneville (12-8-3) posted a 4-2 victory over East Hamilton (9-13-1) in the state quarterfinals.
Greeneville coach John Eiskamp called it “kind of an ugly game” but wasn’t complaining about the outcome.
“We’re very happy to be able to move on, especially not having one of our better games today,” Eiskamp said.
Seymour (18-3) beat McMinn Central 7-0 in a Class AA quarterfinal for the first state tournament victory in program history and the first for a girls’ high school soccer program in Sevier County, according to Seymour coach Ron Blaydes.
“We set a milestone,” Blaydes said.
Alcoa (12-3-1) took a step toward defending its Class A state title with a 2-1 victory over Madison Magnet (13-5-1), winning a PK shootout 3-1 to advance.
Maryville (19-2-3) lost its Class AAA state quarterfinal to defending state champion Houston, 1-0. The Rebels’ only other loss this season was to Houston 3-1 on Sept. 2.
Bearden (19-4-1) completed Wednesday night’s action with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brentwood, ending in a PK shootout by a 5-3 score. Taylor Cross’ goal clinched the PK shootout for Bearden.
Semifinal matches are Thursday and state championship matches Saturday at Siegel Soccer Complex.
Greeneville 4, East Hamilton 2
Greeneville, making its fourth consecutive trip to state, won Class A-AA state championships in 2015 and ’16 before the TSSAA split Division I into three classifications for the 2017-18 school year.
The Lady Greene Devils lost to White House 1-0 in last year’s Class AA state title match.
Greeneville plays Beech (14-7-1) in Thursday’s semifinals at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Beech defeated South Gibson 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
“It’s certainly a big opportunity for us,” Eiskamp said. “We’ve struggled a lot this season, kind of up and down a little bit with certain games and personnel and trying to find the right combination out there, but we’ve come together as a unit.”
Greeneville lost to Seymour 1-0 in the Region 1-AA championship match and earned a trip to state with a 2-1 victory over Catholic in last Saturday’s sectional round.
“We had probably our best game against Knox Catholic,” Eiskamp said, “and then I told the girls, ‘You just can’t rest on that one game. We’re going to the state tournament. You’ve got three games now to be a state champion.’ So we’re definitely excited to be back. The girls are really excited because it’s kind of been an up-and-down year for them.”
With the score tied at 2-all Wednesday, Johnson had a penalty shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Darci Zeh, but Johnson scored on the rebound for a 3-2 lead.
“(Johnson) just didn’t hit it well and the keeper reached out and it deflected,” Eiskamp said. “She was there to put it back in, so thank goodness for that.”
Lindsey Cook’s goal in the 78th minute gave Greeneville a 4-2 lead.
Maryville’s Emily Graham scored an unassisted goal in the 1st minute and Macy Vermillion scored off an assist by Kenly Wilhoit in the 51st minute.
East Hamilton tied it on goals by Malia Drumeller in the 50th minute and by Ashlyn Spake in the 53rd minute.
“(East Hamilton) just kept battling,” Eiskamp said. “We kept giving them opportunities. They had one girl up top that was really quick and fast and she got behind our defense and we didn’t deny the shot. That’s how they scored relatively both of their goals. They beat our back line and scored, but up until that point, we were dominating play.”
Greeneville had 18 shots on goal to East Hamilton’s two.
“We did have several good opportunities,” Eiskamp said. “We had a lot of quality shots taken.”
Seymour 7, McMinn Central 0
Junior striker Tyler Taff had a hat track and senior attacking midfielder Abbie Biddle scored twice in Seymour’s historic victory Wednesday.
Seymour is 1-2 in state matches with other appearances in 2017 and 2008. Last year, the Lady Eagles lost to eventual state champion White House 7-2 in the quarterfinals.
“We’re pretty pumped,” Blaydes said. “It’s something we’re taking each game at a time. Just getting this win says a lot about the girls. Last year we came over here bright eyed and bushy tailed, and we didn’t know what to expect. These girls are focused and ready to go now.”
Seymour plays Nolensville (17-1-2) in Thursday’s semifinals at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Nolensville beat Covington 6-0 in the quarterfinals.
Biddle scored Seymour’s first goal against McMinn Central off an assist by Emily Glaspie. Biddle, who had 37 goals last year, is the leading scorer in program history. She has 27 goals this year.
“She’s a powerhouse,” Blaydes said of Biddle. “She knows how to work the ball and she’s very unselfish.”
Anna Pendleton had Seymour’s second goal in the 6th minute.
Taff scored the next three goals – two before halftime for a 4-0 lead. She leads Seymour in goals with 30 this season.
“She’s a strong, big, physical player and gives us a lot up top out of the striker position,” Blaydes said.
Sidney Wolfenbarger made it 6-0 in the 73rd minute and Biddle scored in the 77th minute off Anna Pendleton’s second assist.
“We knew what we had to do,” Blaydes said. “We just went out and stuck to our game plan.”
Seymour’s defense posted its ninth consecutive shutout with Lauren Horton as goalkeeper.
“They are playing very well,” Blaydes said. “Our defense I would say is one of the best in the state. We proved it by beating Greeneville 1-0 in the region final. That says a lot about our defense.”
Alcoa 2, Madison Magnet 1
Alcoa kept its season alive in dramatic fashion, scoring the tying goal in the 76th minute by McKinna Murr and then winning in PKs.
The Lady Tornadoes advance to Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinals against Signal Mountain (16-3-1), which posted a 7-0 quarterfinal victory over Westview (11-7-3).
Alcoa made its state tournament debut in girls soccer last year and rolled to the TSSAA’s first-ever Class A state championship. The Lady Tornadoes beat Madison Magnet 2-0 in the quarterfinals, defeated Merrol Hyde 4-0 in the semifinals, and beat Signal Mountain 2-0 in the championship match.
In Wednesday’s match, Madison Magnet took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd minute on a goal by Meredith Nye.
After 120 minutes of regulation and overtime play, the game was decided with Alcoa’s Murr, Lexi Bearden, and Peiton Bledsoe scoring PK goals.
Madison Magnet’s only PK goal was by Nye; Lauren Laffoon and Olivia Bezold missed on PK attempts.
Alcoa’s Riley McDonald was the winning goalkeeper.
Houston 1, Maryville 0
Houston (20-2) got the winning goal by Jenna Kemp in the 64th minute and ended the season for Maryville.
Karly Wolford was Maryville’s goalkeeper for the first half and made two saves.
The Lady Rebels made the keeper switch after halftime to Grayson Patterson, who gave up the goal to Kemp but finished with six saves.
Houston’s Gabrielle Dawe had four saves in the match.
Maryville was making its third appearance at state after back-to-back showings in 2015 and ’16.
Bearden 2, Brentwood 1
Bearden went late into the night for a berth in Thursday’s 8 p.m. EDT semifinal against Collierville, a 4-0 quarterfinal winner over Stewarts Creek.
Bearden got a goal in the opening minute of the game by Hannah Wilson, but Brentwood tied it in the 34th minute.
It was a defensive duel for the remainder of regulation and overtimes with Maggie Jones in goal for Bearden.
In the PK shootout, Emily Carlevato put Bearden up 1-0, and Brentwood tied it 1-1.
Bearden’s Hailey Cartt scored for a 2-1 lead, and Brentwood missed as the shootout went into round three.
Abby Brewer’s goal put Bearden up 3-1 before Brentwood’s goal cut the deficit to one.
Both teams scored again in the fourth round, leaving Bearden with a 4-3 lead, and Cross scored the winning goal for the victory.