The Oak Ridge girls’ soccer team finished second in District 3-AAA, and the Lady Wildcats will play Farragut in a Region 2-AAA semifinal game today (Tuesday, October 17).
Today’s game is an elimination game, meaning the season is over for the loser. The winner will be guaranteed at least two more games, the Region 2-AAA championship and a Class AAA sectional game. The sectional games will determine which eight teams will play in the Class AAA state tournament.
The District 3-AAA tournament championship game was Thursday at Powell Middle School. Powell, the top seed in the district tournament, won 6-0. Oak Ridge was the number two seed.
It was the third year in a row that Oak Ridge (10-8-1, 3-1 District 3-AAA) and Powell (13-3-1, 4-0) played for the District 3-AAA championship—and the fourth time in five years. The Lady Wildcats won last year 2-0, and the Lady Panthers defeated Oak Ridge 1-0 in 2015.
The Lady Panthers also beat the Lady Wildcats 6-2 during the regular season this year, on September 21.
Oak Ridge, the District 3-AAA runner-up, will play at Farragut (14-5), the District 4-AAA champion, at 7 p.m. today. The Lady Wildcats lost 2-0 to the Lady Admirals during the regular season on September 13. Farragut eliminated Oak Ridge 3-1 in a Region 2-AAA semifinal last year.
Powell, the District 3 champion, will host Maryville (10-4-5), the District 4 runner-up, in the other Region 2-AAA semifinal game today.
Here’s a look back at some of the Lady Wildcats’ recent games in the past month, since playing at Farragut on September 13, starting with the most recent games.
Powell shuts out Oak Ridge in district championship
During the District 3-AAA championship game on Thursday, Powell senior Rachel Ross scored two goals, one in each half. She had an assist from sophomore Hannah Miller in the first half and an assist from junior Bailey Taylor in the second.
Senior Raygan Scarbrough also scored two goals for the Lady Panthers, also one in each half. She was assisted by Ross and freshman Jordan Blair on her second-half goal.
Also scoring for Powell were senior Caroline Whitehead in the first half and Taylor in the second half, with an assist from Ross.
The Lady Panthers had a 3-0 lead at halftime. About a minute into the second half, Blair crossed the ball from left to right to Scarbrough, who got behind the Oak Ridge defense and lofted a shot into the back left of the net.
Ross scored about six minutes later on a breakaway up the left side of the field, getting past two Oak Ridge defenders and kicking a line drive shot into the right side of the net in the 48th minute.
Taylor had the final score for Powell three minutes later with a soft kick into the back left side of the net.
Oak Ridge and Powell have been the top two teams in the district for the past few years. Oak Ridge won the District 3-AAA championship in an upset over Powell last year, in 2016, and Powell won during a penalty kick shootout in 2015, in what was believed to be the first district title for the Lady Panthers. This year’s title would presumably be their second.
Smith said Maryville has eliminated Powell in the regional semifinal the past two years. The Lady Panthers and Lady Rebels played to a 1-1 tie during the regular season on October 5.
Freshman scores four in district semifinal win
Oak Ridge freshman Katelyn Mattus scored four goals in the District 3-AAA semifinal win over Halls at Oak Ridge High School on Tuesday, October 10.
The 5-0 semifinal shutout win during the district tournament semifinal elimination game meant the Lady Wildcats advanced to the District 3-AAA championship game at Powell on Thursday and the season ended for the Lady Red Devils. That win guaranteed Oak Ridge two more games, the district championship on Thursday and today’s Region 2-AAA semifinal.
During the game against Halls last Tuesday, Mattus scored first in the 11th minute.
She scored again about 22 minutes into the second half, in the 62nd minute, after the ball was thrown in from out of bounds and she weaved between two Halls defender and lofted the ball over the Halls goalkeeper and into the net.
Mattus, who had other scoring opportunities as well, added two more goals in the final 15 minutes of the second half. The first came about a minute after a Halls save. Her next shot in the 67th minute bounced off the foot of a Halls defender and then into the net off the Halls goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Mattus scored again, this time on a breakaway and after beating a Halls defender and the goalkeeper. The ball ricocheted in off the right post.
Oak Ridge freshman Carter Valencia scored the final goal for the Lady Wildcats in the 74th minute on a header after a corner kick with just under seven minutes remaining.
It was the second time this year the Lady Wildcats beat the Lady Red Devils. Oak Ridge won the first game 8-0 in the first district and home game of the regular season, on August 17.
Oak Ridge-Bearden—October 3
Oak Ridge lost this game at home 4-0. Scoring for Bearden were sophomore Abby Brewer in the first half and junior Emily Carlevato, freshman Janie Lewis, and freshman Zneyah Mclaughlin in the second half.
Freshman goalkeeper Sami Jaffery, in her third start, had an awesome game, interim Coach Katrina Williams said.
“She’s been put on the spot, and every game she’s started, she’s performed,” Williams said.
Oak Ridge-Hardin Valley—September 28
Oak Ridge lost this game at home 5-0. Williams said the Lady Wildcats started strong both halves, but Hardin Valley was able to quickly score three goals in a few minutes late in the first half. It was a physical game and Oak Ridge tried to hold Hardin Valley, but the Lady Wildcats got winded, Williams said.
After Oak Ridge Coach Jeff Trombly resigned a few days earlier, the Lady Wildcats also lost junior goalkeeper Laura Snyder, and the girls’ soccer team has struggled with injuries, including to sophomores Katie O’Brien and Rachael Brewer, who both played earlier this season but are now out, and Ashlynn Riikola, who has not played at all this year. Also out this game were junior Kelsie Giannelli and sophomore Maddie Peters.
Freshman Sami Jaffery had her second start as goalkeeper during this game, and she had some good saves.
“We’re trying to pull it together,” Williams said.
Oak Ridge-Karns—September 27
Oak Ridge won this game at Karns 6-1. Sophomore Maddie Peters had a hat trick, or three goals.
Freshmen Alyssa Tittsworth, Katelyn Mattus, and Taylor Del Toro also scored for Oak Ridge.
This game was the first game after Oak Ridge Coach Jeff Trombly resigned as girls’ and boys’ soccer coach, and Katrina Williams became the interim coach.
Oak Ridge-Powell—September 21
Powell scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of the first half during this 6-2 win over Oak Ridge at Powell Middle School on September 21.
Scoring first for the Lady Panthers in the first half was freshman Jordan Blair, with an assist from senior Rachel Ross. It was a good set piece off a corner kick, Powell Coach Mark Smith said.
Sophomore Hannah Miller scored next in the 25th minute, with an assist from junior Bailey Taylor, lofting a shot from the right side of the field into the back left of the net.
Taylor scored about three minutes later after Ross, who was on the right side of the field, passed the soccer ball across to Miller in the center, who passed to Taylor, who shot it straight into the net.
Oak Ridge freshman Katelyn Mattus answered with just over seven minutes left in the first half on a breakaway down the right side of the field, firing a high shot that went in off the hands of Powell sophomore goalkeeper Haley Howerton.
Four minutes later, Oak Ridge freshman Taylor Del Toro went around Powell defenders before firing in a goal.
The score was 3-2 at halftime.
Then the Lady Panthers scored in the first five minutes of the second half when senior Raygan Scarbrough fed the ball through Oak Ridge defenders to Ross in the penalty box, where she was able to score.
Ross had the final goal of the game, with an assist from Taylor.
Smith said Powell has “preached a team game lately.” The Lady Panthers have seven seniors and four juniors.
“We’ve got a lot of experience,” Smith said. “We want to fight to get out of Knoxville (in the playoffs).”
Powell had good defense, passing, and ball control against Oak Ridge.
Smith said the girls trust each other, and the team also has good young players.
“We can trust our bench,” he said.
Ross, who was Powell’s top goal scorer at the time, said the Oak Ridge-Powell rivalry has been one of the best.
“It’s always hard-fought,” she said. “We’re very competitive. We play with passion, play with each other.”
Oak Ridge-McMinn County in the Smoky Mountain Cup on September 15: 4-0 win
Oak Ridge-Lexingston Christian (Kentucky) in the Smoky Mountain Cup on September 16: 8-1 loss
Oak Ridge-Bishop Brossart (Kentucky) in the Smoky Mountain Cup on September 16: 3-1 win
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