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Ads bounce back from region to rip Science Hill and head back to state

JOHNSON CITY — A late-season run of yo-yo performances — big win, big loss, big win — continued Saturday with positive results for the No. 6 state-ranked Farragut boys soccer team.

A trip to Murfreesboro and the Class AAA State Tournament, the Admirals’ fourth straight, resulted from a big win Saturday, 4-2 at No. 4 Science Hill in sectional play, after a big loss two days earlier, 3-0 to archrival and No. 8 Bearden in the Region 2-AAA final at FHS [See related story on this page].

“This team kinda is Jekyll-and-Hyde,” FHS head coach Wallie Culbreth said. “We were determined not to lose.”

Farragut (16-5-5) began state play against No. 7 Murfreesboro Riverdale (19-2) Wednesday (after press deadline).

A win would place FHS in the state semifinals against either No. 2 Houston (17-0-4) or No. 3 Hendersonville (16-2-3) at 6:30 p.m. CDT Thursday (today) at Field No. 2 of the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. The title game is set for 5 p.m. CDT, Saturday.


In earning its trip to state, Farragut also avenged a 3-0 loss to Science Hill at FHS’s Bill Clabo Field in late April.

In a game featuring three converted penalty kicks, Admiral Ben Backstrom broke a scoreless first-half tie with a P-K to give FHS a 1-0 halftime lead. “It was very physical,” Culbreth said about the game.

Early in the second half, Farragut went up 2-0 on a goal from Kevin Underwood, assisted by Jake Holt.

A direct kick goal from Hilltopper standout Eddie Yah pulled Science Hill to within 2-1.

Midway into the second half, Backstrom was again fouled inside the Ads’ offensive box — this time knocked out with a calf injury. Jake Russell converted the P-K.

Cutting the lead to 3-2 with a P-K of its own, the Hilltoppers were gambling in the game’s final moments and Farragut took advantage. A long pass came over the SHHS goalie’s head from Robert Fisher to Josh Riner, who finished off Science Hill with an easy goal.

Back-up goalie Adam Greene, replacing starter Tony Milazzo who got sick during the game, “came in an did a fantastic job,” Culbreth said. “Mitchell Ishmael and Dylan [Whitman] played real well. And [Joseph] Muth and [Ben] Lawson did too.”


Russell’s tying goal — shielding off a defender then spinning and firing from about 12 yards out — with 9:45 left in regulation forced overtime and led to a 4-2 victory in a must-win situation in the Region 2-AAA semifinals May 16 at FHS. Ben Contessa assisted.

Under duress, Backstrom’s pass in the box to Josh Grossbard for a short tap-in goal gave FHS a 3-2 lead in the first 10-minute OT. Muth’s header goal on a corner from Backstrom came midway into the second OT.

With West leading 1-0 at the half, Matthew Dakin’s 20-yard goal seven minutes into the second half tied the game 1-1. Fisher assisted.


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