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Garcia powers Tribe to title-clinching win over 'Toppers

Tanner Cook • Apr 24, 2018 at 11:49 PM

JOHNSON CITY — A slippery turf field and an existing dislike for one another made the Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett boys soccer match a thrilling one with a lot on the line.

The teams played to a draw earlier this season. However, on Tuesday night, the Indians used a pair of Sam Garcia goals to beat the host Hilltoppers 2-0.

“Both of the goals were off shots and it was right place, right time,” Garcia said. “It felt good to beat them. We were pretty mad after that draw, especially in front of the home crowd.”

Garcia’s goals came in the 22nd and 59th minutes, but he should have had one more — he missed a penalty kick early in the match. Science Hill sophomore goalkeeper Chris Casey made a beautiful save off the kick, which looked to be almost telegraphed by Garcia.

“It’s always good to get a win in Johnson City,” said D-B coach Blake Rutherford. “I thought we really rose up to the occasion and took care of business.”

The Tribe (11-0-2) clinched the Big 7 Conference regular-season title. D-B is currently ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 17 nationally.

“Sometimes that’s just the way the game goes,” Science Hill coach David Strickland said. “The difference in the whole game was a couple of hops. We had some opportunities in front of the goal, but we just didn’t finish.”

The ’Toppers (7-4-4) had a handful of chances especially in the second half. Amos Harlenbah had a rocket come off his foot, from about the 35-yard line, that was on target, but D-B goalkeeper Jacob Park made an outstanding save.

Junior Danso made quite the impact for the ’Toppers, being around nearly every loose ball and seemingly everywhere at once. Danso had the equalizer goal in the last match against D-B.

The Indians finished with more shots on goal, 8-4, but the ’Toppers took more corner kicks, finishing with a 4-3 edge. There were also two yellow cards handed out, both on Science Hill, in a match that was chippy from the start.

Science Hill hosts Daniel Boone on Friday night at 6. The Indians entertain Jefferson County on Saturday at noon.

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