CLINTON — Anderson County put two scores on the board in the first half, then withstood a second half push from Oneida to escape with a 3-1 non-district win on its home field on Tuesday, September 8.
The Mavericks scored a goal in the fifth minute, then scored again 10 minutes later, taking a 2-0 lead less than midway through the first half.
After that, things settled down. Oneida coach Phil Newport said it took his team a while to get settled in.
“It was a good game back,” Newport said. “We came back a little sluggish from the long weekend. We never settled into the game until the second half.”
Anderson County had opportunities to add to its lead, but Claire Burress was solid between the posts. The sophomore had several saves to prevent the Mavs from scoring more. One of those saves resulted in a kick to the ribcage after she dove onto the ball.
“My defense did not play the way they have been and I take full responsibility for that,” Newport said. “I would like to think my teams are grounded in two areas — effort and defense. Tonight we were not running on all cylinders.”
The second half was when things really started to change. Sophomore Kenlee Duncan scored with 17 minutes remaining to cut Anderson County’s lead to 2-1. Then Oneida had an opportunity to tie the game on a direct kick with eight minutes left, but the ball was a bit high.
Anderson County scored an insurance goal with four minutes remaining.
“The game was much closer than it looked,” Newport said. “The late goal by them was just us trying to get the ball going the other way late.”
Anderson County had 12 shot attempts to Oneida’s 10. All three of the Mavericks’ goals were scored by the same player. “It was mostly by being in the right place at the right time,” Newport said.
The Mavs will host Scott High next week in a game that could well determine the regular season champion in District 5-AA, although Kingston has shown it could have something to say about that.
Oneida, meanwhile, will jump back into district play next week. After a trip to Clinton on Tuesday for non-district action, the Lady Indians will visit their old nemesis, Cumberland Gap, on Thursday. That game will almost certainly be for the regular season district championship in District 3-A.
Oneida has won four straight against Cumberland Gap.
Newport said that while his Lady Indians are 1-2-1 in their past four games, the schedule they’re playing — three of those four games have been against Class AA schools — will help them down the road.
“I’m not going to panic, because we have a ways to go yet,” Newport said. “I still think our schedule will make us better in the long run.”
Oneida has already shown what it is capable of, upsetting Webb in the season-opener. The West Knoxville private school has since beaten Lenoir City in an upset of its own. And, the Lady Indians are the only blemish on Kingston’s schedule thus far, playing the unbeaten Yellow Jackets to a 3-3 tie.