CLINTON — Eighty minutes of soccer came and went without a goal being scored here Thursday, as Scott High and Anderson County played to a 0-0 tie in regulation of the District 5-AA championship game.
One 10-minute overtime period passed with still no goal. And another 10-minute overtime period almost ended before Anderson County was able to stick one in the net.
After 98 minutes and 31 seconds of scoreless soccer, the Mavericks scored with just 89 seconds remaining before the game would’ve moved to a penalty kicks finish to win the district championship with a 1-0 victory over Scott High.
It was a gut-wrenching loss for a Lady Highlander team that played well enough to win. But head coach Eric Henry said afterwards that he was proud of his team despite the final score.
“So proud of my girls tonight,” Henry tweeted. “I know they’re down and exhausted, but we played pretty darn good imo. I know class and effort when I see it. And we were dripping with it tonight.”
Wow. 100 minutes of soccer is a lot. So proud of all my girls tonight. I know they’re down and exhausted, but we played pretty darn good imo. I know class and effort when I see it. And we were dripping with it tonight. Way to go girls. Chin up. We are the sauce…
— scottsoccer⚽️ (@scotthighsoccer) October 18, 2019
Scott and Anderson County are quickly becoming fierce rivals on the soccer pitch. As District 5-AA’s top two programs in recent years, the Lady Highlanders and the Mavericks have become familiar foes in championship settings.
Two years ago, Scott High defeated Anderson County by a single goal en route to the school’s first-ever district championship, ending the Mavs’ season in the semifinals.
Last year, the Lady Highlanders beat Anderson County again in the regular season, but the Mavs rebounded to defeat Scott by a single goal in the district championship game, and won again in the Region 3-AA championship game. This year’s regular season matchup between the two teams, which Anderson County won, was also decided by a single goal.
proud to be a highlander❤️#all4scott
— Rylee Cotton (@Rylee__roo) October 18, 2019
Despite coming up short in the district title game, Scott High has set a new program high-water mark by advancing to the regional semifinals for a third consecutive season. The Lady Highlanders will travel to Crossville on Tuesday to face Cumberland County. The winner of that game will play for the Region 3-AA championship and also earn a berth in the substate, one step away from the state tournament. The Jets, who defeated Livingston Academy, 3-0, in the District 6-AA championship game on Thursday, will enter Tuesday’s game with a record of 10-3-4.
The Lady Highlanders and the Jets will be among 32 teams left standing in Tennessee Class AA soccer when they kick off Tuesday evening.