Three-peat! Lady Trojans win third straight District 2-AAA title
The Lady Trojans won their third straight district title with a 3-0 win over the Lady Cherokees, and they will host Tennessee High next week in the Region 1-AAA semifinals.
Morristown West coach Jennifer Murphy and the Lady Trojans soccer team are used to success, but on Thursday night against South-Doyle in the District 2-AAA championship game at Burke-Toney Stadium, the Lady Trojans great season got even better.
For the third consecutive year, Morristown West captured the IMAC tournament title with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Lady Cherokees.
With the win, the Lady Trojans will host regional action on Tuesday night against Tennessee High. Earlier in the season, the Trojans picked up a 7-0 shutout over the Lady Vikings.
On Thursday, Chelsey Lambert, Sara Spain, and Abby McGarel all found the back of the net for the Trojans in the victory. With the win, Morristown West improves to 16-1 overall, while South-Doyle dips to 13-5-1 overall.
For Murphy and her squad, the taste of another championship is a welcomed one.
“They played us tough the first time, so we knew we were in for a big challenge tonight,” said Murphy. “It feels great, but you can’t dwell too much on the win tonight. You have to keep the girls grounded because we have to turn right around and play in a must-win situation on Tuesday night.”
In the first half, Morristown West dominated field position and almost found the net three times. With 22 minutes left in the half, Sydney Newsome almost found the back of the net, but the ball sailed high. Later in the half, Megan Horner narrowly missed a scoring opportunity.
With 17:27 left, Lambert spun around a host of defenders and nailed the ice-breaking goal. The goal proved to be the game-winning score as South-Doyle only had one decent shot on goal all game, which impressed Coach Murphy.
“You have to give props to our defense for their prowess tonight,” added Murphy. “They kept South-Doyle away from the goal and if you can’t get near the goal to score, then you can’t win.”
In the second half, McGarel came straight out and almost delivered a quick goal for the Lady Trojans. Within the first minute of second half play, McGarel created a great scoring opportunity, but her shot was caught squarely by the goalie. A few minutes later, Newsome added more pressure on the South-Doyle defense with a near scoring strike, but the Lady Cherokees remained close at 1-0 with 30 minutes remaining. McGarel later hit the crossbar on a cross from Horner with 26 minutes showing, but South-Doyle dodged a 2-0 disadvantage once again.
For the next 10 minutes, neither team found space for an accurate shot before Morristown West’s Ashley Foster almost found the net with 14 minutes left. With 9:50 left, Erika Long fired a tad high from about 20 yards out, but two more goals came for the Lady Trojans.
At the 6:54 mark, Sara Spain added to the lead on a rebound to make it 2-0. Spain’s goal was quickly followed two minutes later on a score from McGarel from 22 yards away for the 3-0 final.
By Chris Ayers, Assistant Sports Editor