Oneida’s home opener was a tale of two halves.
Playing a William Blount team they had defeated in Gatlinburg on Sunday, the Lady Indians fell behind 2-0 at the intermission, then roared back in the second half, scoring five goals to pull off a 5-3 win.
Oneida got looks at the goal in the first half. But, in the words of the head coach, Phil Newport, the Lady Indians were “not very clean” with their finishes. Still, they didn’t panic, and regrouped at halftime.
“We just found good movement with our passes,” Newport said. “We were much better finishing.”
Alexea Jones had two goals and two assists to lead Oneida’s offensive effort. Aliyah Douglas also added two goals and had an assist. Caroline Keeton scored Oneida’s fifth goal.
“I thought our team needed to hear some stuff at the half,” Newport said. “I will say they listened well. I was not surprised by our offensive output in the second half. We adjusted very well to what they were doing. I’m disappointed because we weren’t sharp early, because William Blount played with a chip that we did not in that first half.”
The win was the third straight for Oneida after an 0-2 start. The Lady Indians defeated Pigeon Forge and William Blount over the weekend.
Newport was pleased with Jones’ effort in the second half of Thursday’s game.
“She set us up with a bunch of beautiful balls to create scores and got on the board herself,” Newport said.
Newport also credited the play of Rory Blevins at sweeper. The sophomore was back after a covid absence and provided stabilization in the back.
“I would like to see how good we can be when my kids decided to play 80 minutes,” Newport said. “I think William Blount is a good soccer team. They will surprise some teams.”