KINGSPORT — A yellow card sent Dobyns-Bennett midfielder Kate Jones to the sideline early in the second half of Tuesday night’s local derby with Sullivan South.
Once back on the soccer field, the senior responded in the best possible way for the Lady Indians — with a goal.
Jones’ stunning strike from 30 yards, 10 minutes after her booking for dissent, inspired the Tribe to a 5-1 victory at Indian Highland Park. The result clinched a second straight District 1-AAA regular-season championship for D-B (11-3-1, 5-0-0).
“You rattle a dog’s cage and it’ll bite you,” said Indians coach Shane Calvert, whose side went ahead within three minutes through Katie Clark. “I think Kate got her cage rattled and snapped. That’s all we needed to get going.”
South (3-6, 2-2), after putting in a great shift to close the first half, grabbed an unexpected leveler just four minutes after the break. Keri Beth Harrison provided the final touch to a Teagan Wood crossing pass, her first-time hit ricocheting off the underside of the crossbar and down onto the goal line.
It was ruled a goal by the closest referee.
D-B was livid with the decision — particularly Jones, who picked up her aforementioned yellow for arguing the call. Calvert was also booked in the aftermath.
Jones returned to the field at the next opportunity, and quickly went to work. Her goal, in the 58th, served as a catalyst for the Indians’ subsequent nine-minute barrage, which saw them net four times.
“I let my emotions get out of control,” Jones admitted afterward. “It wasn’t appropriate.
“But it did motivate us to an extent. I think after the first half, we realized that this wasn’t the outcome we were shooting for. We needed to get going.”
Amy Oreskovic’s third goal in as many matches may have been the best of the lot. The junior beat South goalkeeper Lauren Stuart at her near upright with a looping 30-yard strike from the left side of the field after 61 minutes.
Sidney DeVinney capped the Tribe’s decisive burst — and the night’s scoring — with a pair from close range. Kara Brockwell and Clark were the creators, respectively.
“We knew what this game meant,” Calvert said. “We got an early goal, but South really fought hard. It was one of those games where you didn’t know exactly how it was going to go.
“They came out and got that goal early in the second half. From that point on, I think our girls realized that it was going to be a battle and we fought.”
Rebels coach Stephen Fuchs, in his first year, agreed. In fact, he is already looking forward to the teams’ next meeting — hopefully in the district tournament in three weeks.
“We came out intending to play and we did that,” Fuchs said. “D-B is a phenomenal team, but it was a great match. I hope to see them again in the district tournament. I was proud of my girls, but I was also proud of how well (D-B) played.”