HUNTSVILLE — Scott High notched its first win of the 2019 season here Monday evening, defeating Oneida 3-2 after a late penalty kick by Olivia Rector.
Rector’s goal late in the second half was the Lady Highlanders’ last answer in a back-and-forth game between two district title contenders that was twice tied by Oneida in the second half.
Scott scored early on a goal by Mikayla Higginbotham that was assisted by Rylee Cotton, and that’s the way the score stayed until halftime. The Lady Highlanders took the 1-0 lead into the middle stages of the second half before Oneida’s standout forward, Macy Dunlap, found the back of the net just before Scott goalkeeper Allie Bailey could secure the ball.
It didn’t take the Lady Highlanders long to answer, however. Jestine Phillips scored from just outside the goal off an assist by Shaelee Ellis less than two minutes later, giving her team a 2-1 lead.
Again, though, the Lady Indians would answer. Aliyah Douglas scored on a high kick from just inside the 18 to tie the game.
But the Lady Highlanders had one more left in them, as Rector scored in similar fashion on the PK to lift her team to the win.
Scott High coach Eric Henry applauded his team’s effort, calling it a “solid” win as the Lady Highlanders bounced back from last week’s 4-0 loss to Livingston Academy.
“The girls kept battling back. That’s what I like to see,” Henry said. “Solid defense and enough saves by Abby Bridges, Alliyah Nagy, Tori Sexton, Shaelee Ellis, Macy Brown, Lily Cross and Allie Bailey. Great bench and midfield play by the Tucker girls (twins Katie and Chloe), Gracie King and Audriana Boles.”
The loss was costly for Oneida. Already down several starters due to injury, the Lady Indians lost keeper Alea Jones, a multi-award-winner as Region 2-A’s keeper of the year, to a knee injury amid the scrum in front of the goal when Phillips scored the go-ahead goal for the Lady Highlanders. Coach Phil Newport said late Monday that he couldn’t speculate on the nature of Jones’ injury until she has been evaluated by a physician.
“She was able to put some weight on the knee but it was painful so I can’t guess which way that goes,” Newport said.
In her absence, Oneida will turn to freshman Claire Burress to defend the goal.
The Lady Indians’ Savana Shepard also suffered a knee injury during Monday’s game, and Dunlap sustained a possible concussion. Newport said he was going into Tuesday’s game against Knox Halls down six starters, including Caroline Keeton and Gracie Martin, who are still recovering from offseason injuries.
“We’re banged up,” Newport said. “Halls is catching us at a bad time for us.”
Newport applauded Scott’s effort in Monday’s game.
“My hat is off to Eric (Henry),” he said. “His bunch was ready to play and their physical presence gave us problems. My freshmen are going through this transition where they are being bounced around a bit and haven’t adjusted to this type of play. They (Scott High) tended to instigate the action while we watched and reacted. I’m disappointed but if we can get through these injuries we can grow into what I’m looking for. Our defense is going to have to tighten up and play with more discipline.
“The girls had waited a while to get this thing going, now we have to respond better tomorrow,” Newport added.
Scott High was also to have been back in action on Tuesday, with a visit from Harriman.
Next week, Scott will travel to Loudon for a crucial regular season district game. The Lady Indians will open district play tonight (Thursday), with a visit from Oliver Springs before traveling to Harriman on Tuesday.