CLINTON — Freshman Ali Smith scored a hat trick with three goals, freshman Rory Blevins had two goals, and freshman Haley Flores added two more, as Oneida dominated Clinton 8-1 on Tuesday, September 29.
The win, which was the second in as many nights for the Lady Indians, saw plenty of players get plenty of time, as Oneida scored early and often.
The game was only eight minutes old when Blevins scored to get things started, then she needed just four minutes to add another goal, giving the Lady Indians an early 2-0 lead.
When sophomore Alexia Jones scored with 24 minutes to play in the first half to give Oneida 3-0 lead, it was noteworthy because it was the only goal on a night that featured a lot of goals that was not scored by a freshman.
“I shut things off quickly and if you notice all the goals were scored by our freshmen except the one by Alexea,” Oneida coach Phil Newport said. “We made a point to play a more deliberate effort to connect up passes to create shots and did very well with that. Aliyah Douglas took several shots then began to set up others and we got great looks.”
Once Oneida got up 3-0, Smith scored a brace to make it a 5-0 game. Flores scored her first goal with just under five minutes remaining in the first half to make it 6-0, then Smith completed the hat trick with under two minutes to play, giving Oneida seven first half goals.
The Lady Indians’ final goal of the evening came from Flores almost 10 minutes into the second half.
“Our pace was much better tonight and we were way better about keeping the ball on frame when we took shots,” Newport said.
The Lady Indians converted seven of 18 shot attempts in the first half, and one of five attempts in the second half.
The win came 24 hours after a 3-0 win over Campbell County in a rain-shortened game on Monday night. Combined, the Lady Indians out-scored their opponents 11-1 in less than 130 minutes of soccer on those two nights to improve their record to 5-3-1. On Thursday, the Lady Indians will host Cumberland County in their final regular season home game, ahead of Monday’s trip to Rockwood.
While Oneida won back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, the wins were costly. After losing one of their top players in Caroline Keeton to a knee injury on Monday night, the Lady Indians lost Myia Dunlap, another contributor, to a knee injury on Tuesday.
Newport said after Tuesday’s game that Keeton’s ACL injury will be evaluated on Wednesday and that he is holding out hope for the best. Keeton, who plays right wing, brings a lot of speed to the field for the Lady Indians. She missed most of the 2019 season with a knee injury.
“Wins and losses are easy to live with, but no one wants to see this stuff happening to anyone,” Newport said. “She is a super kid with an attitude that speaks volumes about her character.”
Oneida has now lost six players to injury this season, although two players — Laurel Blount and Kenlee Duncan — are playing with casts on broken arms.