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Revenge versus ORHS, third win versus Bearden led Lady Ads soccer to Class AAA state tourney


Within five days the Farragut Lady Admirals survived in overtime to finally beat Oak Ridge and end the ORHS season, survived on OT penalty kicks to whip Bearden for a third straight time in 2006 — then earned a state berth.

No wonder FHS head coach Dennis Lindsay talked about having a happy but tired team heading to Chattanooga for the TSSAA Class AAA state tourney this week.

“For the last two games we’ve played without any energy — we’re going to have to get some energy to be able to compete at state,” Lindsay said after a 3-0 victory versus Johnson City Science Hill Sunday, Oct. 29, at Farragut Middle School to win sectional and earn a state berth. “We don’t have that many subs. They just look tired.”

Entering state tourney play versus Collierville (15-4-2) Wednesday, Nov. 1, (after press deadline), a Farragut victory would land them in the state semifinals today, Nov. 2, versus the Franklin (15-5-1) against Siegel (19-3-1) winner at 4:30 p.m. today, Thursday, at Baylor School.

The championship game is Saturday, Nov. 3, kicking off at 5 p.m. at Girls Preparatory School, with Bearden joining Houston, Hendersonville and Riverdale on the other side of the bracket.

With a 20-4 record heading to Chattanooga despite having only four seniors, “I won’t say they overachieved, I’ll say they achieved more than I expected,” Lindsay said. “They just worked their butts off until they got where they could do well.

“They’ve improved immensely, especially, I guess, when [Casey] Ulrich came back full speed,” FHS head coach Dennis Lindsay said about his standout junior forward being the key. Ulrich had one goal and one assist versus Science Hill. “That was a big lift for our team, then we had someone who could score on a regular basis.”

Ulrich said, “I feel like we have an amazing midfield, and another amazing forward, Whitney Newby, that also plays up there with me. I think my team does depend on me to score goals and get the ball to people who can and will score goals. It’s a big team effort, but, yeah, there is a little bit of pressure to score goals for everybody.”

Senior Emily Harris labeled the state berth as “just so overwhelming, we thought this year was going to be a rebuilding year,” adding that FHS failed to make state last year in part due a problem with “team chemistry, we relied more on one or two players.

“This year I feel we’re more like a team, we rely on everybody to win.”

As for momentum, “After beating Oak Ridge and then beating Bearden again, I really think we’re going to keep on peaking,” Harris said.

Senior Sarah Fisher said she was “thrilled, this team has really stepped it up a notch. We’ve just defied everyone’s thoughts and I’m just so excited.”

Fisher said FHS “bonded really well” during the season. “We play as a team, we play for each other.”

Freshman Lauren Ward, assisted by Ulrich, put Farragut ahead 1-0 midway into the first half with a goal from about seven yards out.

Ulrich made it 2-0 about 15 minutes into the second half with a goal from 15 yards out. About 10 minutes later, Devon Shanklin’s goal from 18 yards out beat the SHHS goalie into the upper right portion of the net.

Despite generally dominating play, Farragut statistics showed only a 9-7 edge in shots-on-goal.

(For FHS versus Bearden details in Oct. 26 Region 2-AAA finals, see story, page 18)

FHS 1 OAK RIDGE 0

Getting control of a loose ball inside the box, Ulrich scored from 12-yards out with 4:15 left in the first 10-minute overtime to break a scoreless tie.

Midway through the second 10-minute overtime, sophomore goalkeeper Megan Buzzeo came up big thanks to a lunging fingertip save of a rising ORHS shot, as Buzzeo was able to barely guide the ball above the crossbar.

Junior Morgan Plum and Ulrich almost connected on goals twice in the second half, once on a corner kick by Plum headed just wide by Ulrich and a Plum centering pass to Ulrich resulting in a diving save by the ORHS goalie.

But Plum came up big defensively later in the second half, blocking a shot at the open end of the net inside the left post, flicking the shot harmlessly away.

The region semifinal win not only avenged two regular season losses to the Lady Wildcats, but ended Oak Ridge’s season.

“We beat ’em when it counted, we were hoping the third time was a charm,” senior defender Serena Allen said. “I was working my butt off trying to win. I’m just really happy that we finally pulled it out.”

Senior midfielder Kathleen Jarvis said, “I think everyone played amazing, Casey had an outstanding goal. I’m just so happy we finally beat ’em this season.”

 

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