Junior midfielder Lucas Altman scored three goals as Science Hill ended Oak Ridge’s season in a 3-1 win in a sectional playoff game in Johnson City on Saturday. The Hilltoppers move on to play in the state tournament in Murfreesboro next week.
The Wildcats (15-5-2) scored first on a goal from senior forward Blade Kimbro less than 10 minutes into the game.
“Blade gave us everything he had,” Oak Ridge coach Jeff Trombly said. “He played really well.”
But Science Hill (19-2-2) tied it 1-1 about halfway through the first half on the first of three goals, a hat trick, by Altman. Altman scored again with about 8:15 left in the first half.
“We started off well,” Trombly said. “After that, we sort of lost our composure for about 10 minutes, and they scored two goals. It was hard for us to come back for us after that.”
Altman’s third goal came at about the 61st minute.
“At that point, it was a little difficult to come back,” Trombly said.
Trombly said the Hilltoppers have more experience in these type of playoff games, and that was key.
It’s Science Hill’s third trip to Murfreesboro in four years, and the Hilltoppers this week won the Region 1-AAA soccer championship for a sixth straight season, beating Morristown West on Thursday. Altman scored two goals in that 3-2 win.
Oak Ridge lost 1-0 to Hardin Valley Academy in the Region 2-AAA championship on Thursday.
Trombly said Wildcats goalkeeper Jake Livengood had a “really, really big game” in Johnson City on Saturday.
But at times, Oak Ridge lacked concentration and struggled to maintain composure, Trombly said. The defense played fine but made some mistakes that led to goals by Science Hill. And the midfield sometimes struggled to get the ball and make decent passes, Trombly said.
But this was the first time this group of players has been this far in the playoffs, the coach said. And it’s probably been seven or eight years since Oak Ridge has played in a sectional game, Trombly said. The sectional games determine who moves on to the state tournament.
In another sectional game on Saturday, Hardin Valley beat Morristown West 4-1 to advance to the state tournament next week.
Oak Ridge has 10 seniors. But Trombly said the team has good capable players that will fill in nicely next year.
“I appreciate all the fans that came out this year,” he said. “It made a big difference in many games.”
The 2015 Class AAA State Soccer Tournament is at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro from Tuesday, May 19-Friday, May 22. The bracket hadn’t been filled out as of Saturday evening, but you can see the game times and unfilled bracket here.
See the Class AAA Region Soccer Tournament bracket here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.