Note: This story was last updated at 4:10 p.m.
KARNS—Oak Ridge and Karns met for the second year in a row in the District 3-AAA championship, and the Beavers won for the second year in a row.
Last year is the first time that anyone can remember Karns winning the district soccer championship. That game was played at Oak Ridge, and Karns won 3-2.
This year’s game was played at Karns on Thursday, and the Beavers shut out Oak Ridge 3-0.
Senior striker Edson Castro, who scored the game-winner for Karns last year, scored the first two goals for the Beavers on Thursday. Castro, the leading scorer for Karns, also assisted in the third and final goal.
“It was a good game,” Castro said. “We gave it all on the field to win the game.”
Oak Ridge will play Farragut, the District 4 champion, at Farragut at 7 p.m. today (Tuesday, May 14) in a Region 2-AAA semifinal. Oak Ridge lost to Farragut at home 3-0 in the last regular-season game, according to records by CoachT.com.
Maryville, the District 4 runner-up, will travel to Karns in the other regional semifinal.
Oak Ridge Coach Tom Gorman said the Wildcats have a lot of young players this year. Four to five freshman started most of the year, with some sophomores sprinkled in. There have been some “growing pains” and inconsistencies, he said.
But Oak Ridge beat West, which was number five in the state at the time, and beat Maryville, a team that has made it to the Region 2 semifinals.
The Wildcats have talent, and the senior leadership has been good, Gorman said. Oak Ridge is 8-9-1, he said. The Wildcats have a freshman goalkeeper, Bryson Brown, and he has been good, Gorman said.
The leading playmaker for the Wildcats this year has been Nathan Kidder, and the backline has been Demarcus Wright, Kenny Moon, and Will Dallas, Gorman said.
In two recent district games, Oak Ridge beat Powell 9-0 at home in April (Kidder had four goals in the first half of that game), and the Wildcats advanced to the district championship with a 5-0 win at Halls in a tournament semifinal game last week, on Tuesday, May 7.
Castro scored his first goal, a high kick from the right side of the field, after a Karns throw-in on Friday. He threaded his second goal in between two Oak Ridge defenders and past Brown inside the right goal post. The third Karns goal also followed a throw-in; Castro flicked the ball off his right foot to sophomore David Hernandez, who scored from the left side of the field.
Karns Coach Steven Gallaher said Oak Ridge scored first last year and had a lot more shots on goal. This year, Karns players “stepped up” and controlled the game a lot more, he said. It was about the team’s best performance, Gallaher said.
He said Castro had 23 goals in 14 games this year and at least 27 during the season.
Today’s games are elimination games. The winning teams will advance to the Region 2-AAA championship. The season will be over for the losers.
Oak Ridge last won the District 3 championship in 2017, beating Central 4-0 in a shutout. That was the fourth year in a row that the Oak Ridge boys’ soccer team had won the district championship.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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