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Lady Indians battle but fall in slugfest with Vikings

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 8, 2019 at 9:49 PM

KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett girls soccer coach Tony Weaver wasn’t celebrating a moral victory Tuesday night at Indian Highland Park.

Instead, he was celebrating the marked improvement the Lady Indians showed in a 5-4 loss to Tennessee High. Against the same team that routed D-B 4-0 a month ago, the Lady Indians led a huge chunk of the match.

The Tribe (5-7-1) pulled ahead 3-1 on Anna Kate Breeding’s goal in the 30th minute before the Lady Vikings scored in the next minute to enter the half down 3-2.

Tennessee High (10-4-1) went on to win, but Weaver saw the effort from his team he had been looking for all season.

“It’s night-and-day difference. Things are finally starting to come together,” Weaver said. “The girls have worked extremely hard and like I told them, when you give that kind of effort there’s not a coach alive who couldn’t be happy with that.

“They gave all they had.”

For a while, it looked like they would have enough for the win. Blaire Barrett gave the Lady Indians the lead in the 20th before Emma Arnold answered for Tennessee High.

In the fast and furious first half, Kinzee Mounger put the Lady Indians back ahead in the 26th. Breeding, who scored two goals, gave D-B a little margin with her straight-ahead kick in the 30th before Arnold closed it at the half.

Arnold’s goal was the first of four straight for Tennessee High.

“That’s what high school athletics is all about. What entertaining soccer,” Lady Vikings coach Kevin Mooney said. “These girls have a lot of fight. They don’t like to lose and neither do I. They showed it tonight.”

Claire Helms had the tying goal for the Lady Vikings in the 49th and, four minutes later, Mya Howren put them ahead for good. Tribe goalkeeper Ellie Nash temporarily prevented any further damage with a diving save in the 56th, but one minute later, Tennessee High added its final goal when Laura Lavinder’s corner kick curved in front of a group of defenders and around Nash into the back of the net.

Breeding powered a 30-yard kick from the left side in the 59th to get the Lady Indians within a goal. Although they stayed aggressive until the end, they couldn’t come up with the equalizer. Kyra Littleford made an athletic save with three minutes to play to keep the Lady Vikings on top.

“That’s the most goals we’ve scored other than two other games,” Weaver said. “I was thrilled to death with the output against that competition. Tennessee High is tough and they’re well coached.

“Our effort was there like I knew it was all year and it’s starting to come together.”

REMATCH AHEAD

The teams will get a rematch in the first round of the District 1-AAA tournament on Tuesday at Kermit Tipton Stadium in Johnson City.

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