The Oak Ridge Wildcats boys soccer team beat the Halls Red Devils 5-0 at home on Friday to repeat as District 3-AAA champions.
The Wildcats (14-3-2) had been ahead 1-0 at halftime, but they opened up a large lead in the second half with a flurry of four goals in less than 15 minutes. Halls (10-4) struggled to get the ball out of its end of the field and had no shots on goal, compared to 23 for Oak Ridge.
Oak Ridge Coach Jeff Trombly said the Red Devils appeared to be a “little tired” in the second half, playing so much defense against the Wildcats.
“We’ve got a pretty good team,” Trombly said. “We’ve been peaking toward this point.”
Oak Ridge will now play Farragut (13-3-2) at home at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Region 2-AAA elimination semifinal.
Trombly said the Wildcats lost to the Admirals 3-2 earlier this year after giving up a 2-0 lead. He said Oak Ridge has a lot of depth and about 10 seniors, but will have to play quicker against Farragut next week.
Forward Blade Kimbro agreed.
“We’ve got to work on speed of play,” Kimbro said. “We’ve got to be as good as we can.”
Trombly said Farragut is ranked number three in the state and the Wildcats are ranked number four.
Forward Jose Rodriguez started the scoring in the second half on Friday, scoring two goals for Oak Ridge, one up the middle and another from the left side that went in off the hands of the Halls goalkeeper. Nick Waraska kicked one in from in front of the net shortly after a corner kick, and Austin Vinyard scored one that bounced in off the left post on a breakaway.
Halls moves on to play Hardin Valley, ranked number one in the state, in another Region 2-AAA semifinal game on Monday. Hardin Valley (15-0-2) beat Oak Ridge in the regional championship last year, and they beat Farragut 2-0 in the District 4-AAA Championship on Friday.