Science Hill celebrates the eventual game-winning goal by Nick Boegemann (14) on Thursday at Indian Highland Park.
KINGSPORT — For the fourth year in a row Science Hill took the candy right out of Dobyns-Bennett’s hands.
A goal by the Hilltoppers’ Nick Boegemann in the 12th minute was all the scoring needed as Science Hill shocked the Tribe 1-0 in the Region 1-AAA soccer final at Indian Highland Park on Thursday.
It marked the fourth year in a row that D-B had beaten Science Hill for the District 1 title only to have the Toppers return the favor in the regional final.
With the win, Science Hill (16-5-1) will host Maryville (14-5-3) on Saturday in the Sectionals with a berth in the TSSAA state tournament at stake.
The Tribe (19-3-1) will travel to take on Region 2 champ Farragut (19-3-0) at noon Saturday. The Admirals downed Maryville 2-0.
Boegemann’s goal was a slow roller that slipped by the outstretched hands of D-B netminder Preston Mercer.
It seemed innocent at the time, but proved to be a worthy game-winner.
Science Hill had lost to D-B twice this season by the identical scores of 5-1. This time around things were entirely different.
A brilliant game plan was executed to perfection by the Hilltoppers from starting whistle to the final horn.
“Two 5-1 losses will teach you a lot of things,” said Science Hill coach Brandon Kind. “Every tool we used tonight came from what we learned in those two losses.”
What the ‘Toppers learned was to not give the Tribe any free runs and to bottle up their forwards whenever they got the ball deep in the Science Hill end.
“The plan was to apply immediate pressure and to cut off their second option,” added Kind. “The guys never allowed D-B any momentum.”
Pushing forward in the second half, the Tribe began to have a little more success.
Science Hill goalkeeper Daniel Adleman came up big time after time in the final 40 minutes of play to preserve the Hilltoppers’ slim lead.
In the 64th minute he stopped a point-blank shot from D-B’s Evan Fenyves that appeared a certain goal.
Five minutes later the Tribe again was on the doorstep but Adleman made another brilliant stop. D-B’s final serious attack came in the 71st minute, but Adleman was up to the task.
Science Hill centerback John Luccesi was a stalwart on defense.
“Coach told us coming in that we had to keep our cool,” said Luccesi. “We worked so hard on defense. Our goal was to keep them moving backward instead of attacking.”
D-B coach Chris Woods could only compliment Science Hill.
“Give all the credit to them,” said Woods. “They were the better team tonight, they had a better work rate than we did.
“We had our chances late, but couldn’t cash in,” added Woods. “As we go deeper in the season, word is going to get out about what frustrates us so we’re going to have to learn to deal with that.”