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Doyle’s engine ‘Go,’ hat-trick sinks ’Cats
Nation’s No. 9 Farragut High soccer team flexes top-ranked state muscles to beat state’s No. 5 ORHS


Aaron Doyle’s hat-trick against Oak Ridge included two goals earned with skill typical of a high school All-American soccer candidate.

But his other goal was a lucky gift — and it probably broke the back of the state’s No. 5-ranked Wildcats Friday at FHS.

“It was definitely a lucky bounce,” the talented senior midfielder said about his second goal that broke a 1-1 tie with nine minutes left in the game. “I just happened to be there to tap it in.”


Charging in on a long looping pass near the ORHS goal, Doyle was ready when a freak bounce sent the ball over the Wildcat goalie’s head. Doyle out-battled the retreating goalie and tapped in the go-ahead goal from about three-yards out.

Farragut, the top-ranked Class AAA team in the state and No. 9-ranked nationally according to the latest Studentsports poll, improved its record to 12-1 with a 3-1 victory.

“Aaron’s a unique creature, at some point you’ve got to get him turned on, and every game it’s at a different time,” FHS head coach Wallie Culbreth said. “If this game had been ten minutes longer he might have had five goals.”

Doyle put the game away with a hard, frozen rope shot from about 25 yards out from a sharp angle to the right. Doyle used his skills to maneuver around an ORHS defender before unleashing a perfectly-placed shot to the left side of the Oak Ridge goal.

Scoreless 16 minutes into the game, a perfectly-placed 30-yard pass from midfield off the foot of Jared Britcher hit Doyle in stride, and the senior midfielder took care of the rest. Behind the defense, Doyle easily outmaneuvered the charging Wildcat goalie and tapped in the game’s first goal from 10 yards out.

OAK RIDGE RALLY

“Oak Ridge is a very good team, and we knew they were a very good team coming in,” Culbreth said. “In fact, I think they were probably the most underrated team coming in here. They’re only fifth-ranked in the state right now, but they probably should be two or three. Their potential is, they’re good enough to go to state and do some damage.”

Trailing 1-0 at the half, Oak Ridge began about 20 minutes of domination following their game-tying goal with 33:30 left in the game. A charge down the left sideline and perfectly placed pass to the middle of the field inside the FHS box led to the tying goal from eight yards out.

Four other serious Wildcat scoring chances followed, including a tap-in goal following a scramble in front of the net that was wiped out by an off-sides call.

“We were more, reeling a little bit I guess, because we didn’t get back into our rhythm,” Culbreth said. “Soccer’s a funny game, a good team will get into a rhythm and we got out of ours. I made some adjustments on the field with substitutions, and it (rhythm) gradually worked back in.”

BOBROWSKI GONE

After stretching muscles that were supporting his knee following a pre-season ACL tear, talented senior forward and team leader Spencer Bobrowski has seen his FHS soccer career end prematurely.

“Spencer is gone, but he was a great one,” Culbreth said. “It sort of takes a jab at the team, and it was a little bit apparent out here tonight because we had to play a new formation without Spencer. But we’ll work through it. He’s a good supporter and he’ll be there for us.”

In addition to his talent, Bobrowski’s leadership skills may be harder to replace. “Well, Bryan Hill and Jared Britcher and Aaron Doyle are my other three captains, and they’ve done a good job of stepping up,” Culbreth said. “They’ll keep the team up. They did it tonight before we started.”

Despite battling the flu and various injuries in addition to Bobrowski’s, “from a physical standpoint, we’re as strong as we’ve been in a while,” Culbreth added. “We’re playing very well right now.”

 

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