CROSSVILLE, Tenn. | A short-handed Oneida team battled Class AA Cumberland County to a 1-1 tie to close out the regular season here Monday (Oct. 3).
The Lady Indians scored a goal late in the first half, then held on to a 1-0 lead for much of the second, before the Jets scored late to force the draw. There is no overtime for non-district games in Tennessee high school soccer.
Claire Burress scored off an assist by Emilee Sexton in the 32nd minute to give the Lady Indians a 1-0 goal.
Despite getting off twice as many shots on frame in the second half — 14 — as in the first half, Oneida was not able to expand its lead. Then Cumberland County scored with 12:55 remaining to tie things up.
The Jets had only six shot attempts on the night.
Oneida coach Phil Newport was not disappointed with the tie.
“I was very content with our evening,” he said. “We had a ton of good looks and had to play through a bunch of pushing and physical play. Claire got roughed over in the box but the refs let it go. We had one call that went in our favor and it was a beyond obvious handball. That was it. Still, I love how we stuck with it despite the absence of several notable players.”
Oneida was without Aliyah Douglas, who is nursing a sprained ankle, as well as starters Ali Smith and Jillian Cross and reserve Larissa Jones.
“I think we were dominant in possession and made only one misstep in the second half that let Cumberland County equalize the score,” Newport said.
Newport said that all of keeper Ayla Sims’ saves in the second half were direct kicks that the junior handled easily.
“I really think Cumberland County considers themselves fortunate that they found us under-manned,” he said.
Newport said that Smith’s presence would’ve likely prevented Cumberland County’s game-tying shot late.
“No one wants a tie really but considering the circumstances I thought the girls battled well all night,” Newport said. He credited the play of Burress, Alexea Jones, Presley Queener and Kamryn Kennedy on the offensive end, and said the defense was strong most of the way.
“We cannot afford any mistakes in such a tight game, when you feel the officials are one-sided with their whistles,” he said. “But I’m very happy with my bunch. It was a good soccer game for the most part.”