DANDRIDGE – Jefferson County scored early and often Monday evening in the D2-AAA tournament play-in match against Morristown East.
The Lady Patriots Sophie Swann and Zoe Tolzmann each scored twice as the Lady Patriots advanced in the tournament with a 7-0 win over the Lady ‘Canes.
Jefferson County will now travel to Bearden to take on the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs. Bearden has won the last three district titles.
“Our girls were resilient and found a way to get through that (East’s gamplan),” Jefferson County coach Shawn Way said. “Sometimes you’re wanting to look ahead to the next opponent, so we challenged them to focus on what was happening tonight. Our players stepped up tonight.”
It was the veterans who stepped up for the Lady Patriots in the elimination match. Junior Molly Zander got the scoring going in the ninth minute and fellow junior Swann added to the lead just two minutes later.
After a back-and-forth 10 minutes, the Lady Patriots struck again when senior Tolzmann slotted one home. Just one minute later, it was Swann again as Jeff made it 4-0 at the half.
Tolzmann would open up the scoring in the second half with her second goal of the match.
“Our seniors stepped up tonight,” Way said. “Zoe, Molly and Sophie all played really well. I’m proud of the way we played. We started slow but go into it.”
With the lead comfortably in hand, the Lady Patriots rotated in some younger players to give the starters a rest for Tuesday’s match.
Sophomore Ainsley Ballard scored the sixth Lady Pats goal while junior Jeanna Sinnock scored two minutes later to complete the scoring.
“I tried to get every girl that was out there some time to sit and rest their legs including Molly and Zoe and those who usually play all 80 minutes,” Way said. “All the girls got at least 20 minutes of time out there which was good. I know we have a tall task in front of us, but I feel like we have talked about it a lot and will be prepared. All we have to do now is play the game and try and execute the best we can.”
Jefferson County had 37 shots in the match with 21 of them coming on goal. Morristown East had three shots with two of them on goal. Jefferson County goal keeper Adriana Rehg had three saves.
With the loss, Morristown East finishes the season with a 1-9 record.
For the Lady Patriots, the task at hand Tuesday night is a difficult one. However, Way feels that his team is prepared and ready to take that next step.
“We know what’s coming,” Way said. “We know that they are really good at coming at you and trying to make you miss and creating mismatches. We’re just going to try and tuck things back. When we have the ball, we’re going to try and open up an attack and when we don’t have the ball, we’re going to go into a shell. We’re just going to have a low pressure attack.”