HomeSoccerOneida Men's SoccerSoccer: Oneida wins district championship, looks ahead to regionals

Soccer: Oneida wins district championship, looks ahead to regionals

and celebrate a goal during Oneida's win over Rockwood in the District 3-A semifinals on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | Sarah Dunlap/IH

ONEIDA  |  It's not every day that a district championship game ends early due to high school soccer's nine-goal mercy rule.

But such is the distance between Oneida and the rest of District 3-A this season, and the Indians proved that again on Thursday, defeating Cumberland Gap 9-0 for the second mercy-rule finish of the season against their rival.

scored four goals — pulling him to within one goal of the career record currently held by his cousin, Danner Keeton — and the Indians jumped out to an 8-0 halftime lead before tacking on a ninth goal in the second half.

“The boys really moved the ball well from the backs to the midfield and the forwards,” Oneida coach Derek Keeton said. “We played extremely unselfish soccer with many phenomenal crosses across the face of the goal which made it easy for Mason, Levi (James), Sam (Bell) and Luke (Barna) to finish. 

Barna finished with two goals, while James, Bell and each had a goal.

While he didn't score, finished with four assists.

“Nick played really well creating for us,” Keeton said. “He also created a PK for Luke to finish. Mason finished really well, and I'm really happy for to get a much-deserved goal.”

Keeton said his defense possessed the ball well and passed at a high level.

“I cannot say enough good things about our coaching staff,” Keeton said. “Coach Phil Newport should be defensive coach of the year. He has done a wonderful job with these young men.”

Next up, Oneida will host a Region 2-A championship game at Jane Terry Hoffman Field on Tuesday. The Indians will face Sweetwater, which fell to Loudon, 7-0, in the District 4-A championship on Friday. 

The Indians started the season with a 4-1 win over the Wildcats at home back on March 13. After three straight losses to begin the season, Sweetwater lost only twice more in the regular season, and rode a four-game winning streak into Friday's game against Loudon.

The Redskins will host Cumberland Gap on Tuesday. The winners will meet in the region championship game on Thursday. Should Oneida win, that game will be played at Jane Terry Hoffman Field.

Oneida plans to honor its past career record-holders at halftime of Tuesday's game, including Danner Keeton who is the career goals leader; Gabe Hacker, who is the career assists leader; and Grant Swain, whose career assists record Hacker broke. The recognition is the start of Oneida's plans to develop a wall of fame on the outside of the field house to recognize the program's records-holders.

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