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Girls soccer seeks first state title


If Farragut High School’s girls soccer team wins the Class AAA state championship in Chattanooga this weekend, two things will put them over the top.

“Speed and depth are our biggest assets,” FHS Head Coach Dennis Lindsay said, as his second-ranked Lady Admirals (23-3 record) began state tourney play Wednesday against fifth-ranked Cordova (14-1-2).


“We have the ability to go all the way, but Cordova and us have the hardest bracket because we’ve got by far the toughest quarterfinal game,” Lindsay said. “If we win, that’ll make it tougher on us the next night because of wear and tear on the legs.” FHS handed Cordova its only loss at the Katie Hunter Invitational in Oak Ridge in August, rallying from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2.

A Farragut victory Wednesday will take them to Thursday’s semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. in UTC’s Finley Stadium against the Franklin versus Blackman winner. Franklin, defending Class AAA state champion ranked third in the state (19-2-2), was a heavy favorite in their quarterfinal.

Farragut whipped Franklin 4-0 in the Katie Hunter Invitational, “but they’ve got tradition behind them, and I’m sure they’ve improved since that game,” Lindsay said. “I know Hendersonville beat them about three weeks ago only 2-1. “They’ll be playoff ready, they’ve won more state championships (nine) than anybody.”

After bouncing back from a 2-1 loss to top-ranked Oak Ridge (21-1-4) in the Region 2-AAA title game last Thursday, Farragut earned its trip to Chattanooga with a 3-0 sectional victory at Science Hill Saturday. Details later in this article.

STATE TOURNEY TOUGH?

Unlike Oak Ridge, which upset Farragut in the Region 2-AAA semi-finals last year and eventually earned a state tournament trip, only two Lady Admirals have state tournament experience: senior All-state defender Mandy Milazzo and talented midfielder Alicia Frear.

While Milazzo played regularly as a freshman forward on the 2000 FHS team that finished as state-runner-up, “Frear played a little in spots,” Lindsay said.

But the lack of widespread state tournament experience isn’t a big concern to Lindsay.

“No, the state tournament is no different than any other tournament, you just go out there and line up and play ball,” Lindsay said. “They may be in awe of everything, but with the schedule we’ve played I don’t think they’re going to be too concerned.

“There’s nobody that’s ever played this tough of a schedule throughout the course of a year, I don’t believe,” the coach added. “We’ve played the toughest schedule in the state. We’ve played (most) of the top-10 teams, and I don’t think anybody else has (played) over four or five.”

Farragut’s program is looking for its first-ever state championship.

Saturday’s Class AAA state title game is set for 7 p.m. If the Lady Admirals make it to Saturday, it will likely be Farragut’s third meeting this season against either Oak Ridge (2-0 versus FHS) or second-ranked Hendersonville (1-1 versus FHS, 21-1-2 overall).

FHS 3 SCIENCE HILL 0

There may have been a skill difference favoring Farragut in the 3-0 sectional win at Science Hill Saturday, but there sure was a speed difference.

Both coaches acknowledged that fact. Meanwhile, Jessie Stephens scored twice to lead FHS to Chattanooga.

Katie Green scored the other Farragut goal, assisted by Frear. Sarah Van Sickle assisted Stephens’ first goal, as the Lady Admirals led 2-0 at the half. Stephens added an unassisted goal after the break. FHS had a 12 to 2 edge in shots-on-goal.

ORHS 2 FHS 1

Trailing 2-0 at the half despite dominating most of the game in terms of scoring chances, Farragut made it close thanks to a 15-yard 45 degree angle goal from Sarah Van Sickle following a nifty pass from Katy Maurer with 25:21 to play in the game.

ELEVEN ARE ALL-DISTRICT

Practically the entire Farragut starting line-up — plus the coach — has earned All-District 4-AAA recognition. District 4-AAA MVP Mandy Milazzo led the 11 FHS honorees. Alicia Frear earned Midfielder of the Year honors, while Katie Green was named Forward of the Year.

Head Coach Dennis Lindsay was named Coach of the Year. Sarah Van Sickle, Sara Tourville, Whitney Hensen, Jessie Stephens, Meghan Rothenberg, Amy Boyd and Julie Kensell also earned All-district honors.







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