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Everything but goals for Lady Admirals
Nothing to show for second-half dominance in state semifinal soccer loss to perennial power Franklin

Farragut’s Megan Hensley (in blue) battles a Franklin player for the ball.- Alan Sloan/farragutpress
Dennis Lindsay can relate to any Boston Red Sox fan: So close, and yet so far.

Despite fielding another outstanding Farragut High School girls soccer team this fall, coach Lindsay’s Lady Admirals once again fail to win the program’s first state championship.

It didn’t seem to matter that Farragut outplayed perennial power Franklin for a majority of their Class AAA state semifinal Thursday in Chattanooga. It didn’t seem to matter than FHS out-shot the Lady Rebels 27 to 7. It didn’t seem to matter that Farragut beat this same team 4-0 earlier in the season.

What seemed to matter was that the Lady Admirals were playing the closest thing to the New York Yankees in Tennessee High School soccer. Franklin not only found a way to beat FHS 3-0, but went on to claim its 10th state title two days later with a 3-1 win against Hendersonville.

During the post-game handshake with the Franklin head coach Jimmy Burchett, “(Burchett) said, ‘sometimes life just isn’t fair, he said ‘you completely dominated us,’” Lindsay recalled. “We took it to ‘em, we just couldn’t put it in the net. An inch here, an inch there and it would have been a completely different game.

“I thought we played a good, hard game,” Lindsay added. “We played a game well enough to win, we just didn’t do it.”

Ranked among the top-five in the state the entire season, Farragut finishes with a 24-4 overall record.


Franklin led 1-0 at halftime before what might have been a back-breaking goal — both strategically and emotionally — less than one minute into the second half.

“They got a couple of shots in that were unbelievable, like a freaky bounce,” Lindsay said while specifically pointing to the second Lady Rebel goal. “That was a fluky goal,” he said. “It took backspin ... you couldn’t hit that again in a hundred years. It’s just a weird thing.”

While Lady Admiral attackers repeatedly kept charging the net and making good passes only to have a shot go barely wide on barely high, the Lady Rebels smelled victory.

“We’ve had days like that when everything we shoot has been over (the net),” Lindsay said. “I can’t explain it. We practice keeping our shots low, but they try to get just a little extra power and it sails on ‘em.”

This was Franklin’s third state tournament win against Farragut since 1999.

Asked about having “a history with Franklin,” the FHS skipper shot right back: “The history is they win and we lose,” Lindsay said. “We beat ‘em earlier this year. But I knew we were in for a fight.

“Our girls did fight, the fighting wasn’t the problem,” Lindsay added. “Getting it in the net was the problem.”

Overconfident because of the big regular season win? “No, they came prepared to play,” Lindsay said. “I think we dominated, and you don’t dominate ‘em unless you’re prepared.”

Senior All-state defender Mandy Milazzo, along with standouts Alicia Frear and Melanie Miller, played their final game last Thursday.

“They’ve been fantastic players for me,” Lindsay said. “I appreciate their leadership this year. I know this game hurts them a lot, they wanted it bad. It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Did the Lady Admirals start pressing when they fell behind 1-0? “No, because if you noticed we started playing better when we got down a goal,” Lindsay said. “We came out flat, the first few minutes we were flat. That one goal kind of woke us up.”


“I’ve said this before, I think next year we’ll be a better team,” Lindsay said. “We’re losing three good seniors, but you’ve got a whole bunch of ‘em that are going to improve just a little to compensate. Overall, I believe we’ll have a stronger team next year.”


In a lighthearted attempt to deal with the frustration, Lindsay turned to humor: “I’m going to say one of the assistant coaches is the finishing coach.”

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