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October 22nd, 2013 9:24 pm by Douglas Fritz
When two teams can't score in soccer, they stop playing the full-field game and reduce the action to penalty kicks.
For University High, it was a season-ending miniaturization.
Chuckey-Doak defeated the Lady Junior Bucs by an official final score of 1-0, outscoring them 4-3 on penalty kicks in the Region 1-A/AA semifinals Tuesday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
UH finished its year at 8-5 while Doak improved to 9-6-2 and advanced to Thursday's title game against Greeneville, which defeated Sullivan South, 4-1
What set up the PK drama was two 40-minute periods of scoreless soccer, followed by two 10-minute periods of the same. Then after a pair of 5-minute sudden death periods, the teams lined up and took their shots on goal.
Savannah Wexler connected for UH first, but Doak answered.
After each team missed — with UH getting a nice save from goalkeeper Taylor Treadway — Belle Bright's shot sizzled inside the left post for a 2-1 advantage.
Doak fought back for the tie, but Aubrey Campbell pushed the Junior Bucs back in front.
Again, Doak answered to make it 3-3.
When Lady Black Knights' goalkeeper Beth Ann Burns denied UH's fifth attempt, the game was in the hands of Doak's Alicia Phillips.
"You know it's do or die, and you know it's all on the line," said Phillips.
"I had given 100 percent on the field, and I knew no matter what happened we could hold our heads high. I was thinking all glory to God because we gave 100 percent.
"In practice, Phillips said her PK attempts always go to the same spot: left corner. Phillips took a rip and planted it inside the left post, leaving UH stunned and touching off a Chuckey-Doak celebration.
"I have a superstition you can feel the ball is going in when you kick it," said Phillips. "So I had confidence it was going in."
Treadway couldn't pull off her second PK stop, but it was her play in goal that got the Junior Bucs that deep into the game. She made a pair of terrific saves in the second half to keep the Black Knights scoreless.
"She has tremendous heart," said UH assistant coach Caitlyn Epps. "She's had back trouble, and she has been on crutches and laying in bed. But there was no question she was going to play tonight.
"UH had its chances in regulation play, but couldn't get its best shots on frame. Three times the shots were high, and two of them just barely went over the crossbar.
"We were pretty unlucky the whole game," said Epps. "And it was a sloppy game for us. We didn't put more than a couple of passes together. We weren't creative with the ball.
"The end of the game was spotlighted, but Epps said UH didn't really lose the contest at that point."We told the players at the end of the game it wasn't their fault," said Epps. "It was up to us to score earlier. Every person on the team was to blame."And the coaches were to blame. We didn't have the team as ready as we should have. (Penalty kicks) was a hard position to be in."
© 2013 Johnson City Press
UNIVERSITY HIGH WINS September 3rd, 2013
Lee Talbert Press Photo Editor email@example.com
University High beat Elizabethton 2-0 in girls' soccer on Tuesday.
Lady Bucs top Elizabethton
Savannah Wexler scored a goal and assisted on another as the University High girls soccer team defeated Elizabethton 2-0 in a conference match Tuesday night at Civitan Park.
Wexler, who scored on an assist from Sarah Robinson, helped out on Maya Houston's goal. Taylor Treadway got the shut out in goal. Centerback Gracie Gregg helped out on defense.
University High improved to 4-1 and 1-0 in the league, and plays again Thursday night against Tennessee High at Civitan Park.
© 2013 Johnson City Press
October 15th, 2013 9:46 pm by Douglas Fritz
ELIZABETHTON — After a career total of 101 goals, none was sweeter for Savannah Wexler than this one.
With just 62 seconds left in regulation, the University High senior delivered a 20-yard sizzler just under the crossbar to give the Lady Junior Bucs a 1-0 victory over Elizabethton in the District 1-A/AA soccer semifinals at Rider Field on Tuesday night. It was a season-ender for the Lady Cyclones (8-10) while UH (7-4) advanced to Thursday's championship game against Sullivan South at 4:30 p.m. in Kingsport.
"This was the best goal I've scored," said Wexler. "It was the most meaningful." In a contest that seemed destined for overtime, Wexler caught a nice pass from Maya Houston in the middle of the field. Immediately it was clear the Lady Cyclones were in trouble. Wexler struck the ball solidly and kept it high enough to prevent a play from Elizabethton's goalkeeper.
"Because I've played soccer so long, I can tell when the ball is going in," said Wexler. "On that shot, the minute I struck it I knew it was going in the goal.
"God gave me the ability to score. I was happy to put it in."
After a scoreless first half where Elizabethton couldn't finish a couple of really nice chances, the Lady Junior Bucs controlled possession most of the second half. But UH couldn't get ball into the net.
University High head coach Victor Chirica said his team won because of effort. "I think we really tried hard to win this game," said Chirica. "We fought the whole game, beginning to end. We knew if we lost, the season was over for us. The girls gave 100 percent." UH won many of the 50-50 balls, and that was one of the differences, said Cyclones' head coach Bill McClay.
"They were quicker to most of the 50-50 balls," said McClay. "Hats off to them. They physically won the match. We played Tennessee High a couple of days ago, and we won most of the 50-50 balls. It's hard to understand why we didn't tonight. We just didn't have that extra gear." McClay said the game's lone goal was just one of those things.
"It's the way the ball bounces," he said. "But we didn't do a great job of thinking, 'Hey, I've got to clear the ball now.'
" Wexler said she believes her team still has some postseason noise to make. "If we play like we did tonight, I think we have a chance to go a long way," said Wexler. "We came close the last time against Sullivan South, but lost in the last two minutes."
Link to pictures
Lady Cyclones vs University Dave Boyd/Johnson City Press
© 2013 Johnson City Press