Leading by a goal late in the first half, the Lady Indians were hit with a controversial penalty in the box. Tennessee High’s Emma Arnold converted the penalty kick to tie the game. Arnold added a goal in the opening minute of the second half, and the Tribe — despite battling down to the final seconds — couldn’t fully recover.
The Lady Vikings earned a 4-3 victory in the semifinals of the District 1-AAA girls soccer tournament at Indian Highland Park on Tuesday night.
“That PK call changed the entire complexion of the game, for sure,” said D-B coach Blake Rutherford. “Both referees said the goalkeeper got to the ball first. No. 1, the ball was just about out of bounds. No. 2, the goalkeeper was coming full bore. What is she supposed to do, hit the air brakes and stop? She got to the ball first, which is her job. That’s a no-call there. I thought Cydney (Kinkead) did a great job. She did what she is taught to do.”
The loss ended D-B’s season. Tennessee High advanced to Thursday’s championship at 6 p.m. against Science Hill, which pounded Daniel Boone 7-0 in Tuesday’s first semifinal.
D-B took the early advantage with McKenzie Guest finding the net twice.
“McKenzie Guest, what a player,” Rutherford said. “I’m proud of her, and proud of the team.”
Arnold struck to make it 2-1, setting the stage for the big moment. The Lady Vikings played a deep ball toward the right side of the box. Kinkead raced to meet the speeding Arnold and arrived at the ball at the same time as Arnold. After the call, and a lengthy argument from Rutherford, Arnold placed the penalty kick low right for the tying score.
Tennessee High coach Kevin Mooney said he had no problem with the call.
“My assessment doesn’t matter,” Mooney said. “The whistle blew. Their keeper took out my player. In my mind, it’s a penalty.”
Arnold’s next goal was impressive, a shot from the middle of the field that slipped just under the crossbar in the 41st minute. The Lady Vikings made it 4-2 when Mya Howren scored.
D-B had a chance late, getting a third goal from Guest with 13 minutes remaining. But despite attack after attack on the goal, they couldn’t get the tying score.
“It was relentless aggression until the very end,” said Rutherford. “They kept fighting. Tennessee High is a good team. They earned their result tonight.”
The Lady Hilltoppers got two goals each from Riley Cox and Savannah Fields to run away from the Lady Trailblazers.
Science Hill (15-2-1) held a five-goal lead at halftime.
“I’m happy with the result,” said Lady Hilltoppers coach coach David Strickland. “The girls played well. I thought we kept the ball well, and we kept it on the floor. I think we created somewhere around 39 chances tonight, so it’s kind of hard not to be happy with it.”
Also scoring for Science Hill were Sydney Jordan, Paige Carlsen and Tori Sparks, who added two assists. Cox also had an assist.