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Hosting 4-AAA final is Soccer Ads' next goal

Losing to three-time defending Class A/AA state soccer champion Christian Academy of Knoxville for the first time ever, the Farragut Admirals enter post-season play having lost two of its final three regular season games.

Farragut, ranked No. 6 in the state in Class AAA, lost at CAK 1-0 Thursday, May 4, in a game featuring only five combined shots-on-goal (3-2 in favor of CAK). Sam Ferguson scored the only goal for the Warriors (10-1-4 entering the week).

“The biggest problem I’ve had this year is getting my kids to shoot,” FHS head coach Wallie Culbreth said. “We’ve been a lot of finesse around the 18-yard line instead of pulling the trigger.”

Perhaps the recent losses, including a 3-0 setback at home to No. 4–ranked Science Hill April 27, is simply the fault of a tough schedule causing what Culbreth labels as “stress” for his top-seeded District 4-AAA Ads (12-4-5 overall record, 7-0-1 in all district games as of Wednesday, May 10.)

“I’ve read on all these Web sites that on strength of schedule, we’ve played the hardest schedule in the state,” Culbreth of a schedule including top Division II powers Christian Brothers of Memphis and Baylor, and many of South Carolina’s top teams in a S.C. tourney — in addition to CAK among a tough local slate.

“I feel really good where we’re at, and this is the reason why.”

Farragut followed up a 10-1 victory against Heritage in the district tourney’s first round Monday, May 8, with a semifinal game Wednesday (after press deadline), hosting Sevier County.

A win Wednesday means Farragut will host the 4-AAA championship game Friday at Bill Clabo Field beginning at 7 p.m. against the Bearden versus Maryville winner, played at MHS Wednesday.


Two goals from senior midfielder Matt Dakin, who Culbreth said was seriously ill, led Farragut past Oak Ridge 4-2 Tuesday, May 2, on Senior Night at Bill Clabo Field.

“He had a high fever, I shouldn’t have even had him on the field,” Culbreth said of Dakin. “He’s been in bed rest ever since that game. … He was sick as a dog.”

Joseph Muth and Jake Russell scored the other Admiral goals, while Ben Backstrom added three assists. Josh Grossbard had one assist.

According to Farragut’s statistics, the Admirals’ defense allowed only three shots-on-goals (14-3 edge).

As for other top individual performances in recent games, “Nick Paolucci, my sweeper, has played really well in all of the games,” Culbreth said. “Ben Backstrom has stepped up big-time. … giving me more offensive punch.”


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