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Castle-led Lady Falcons record first playoff win

Tanner Cook • Oct 15, 2019 at 12:52 AM

CHURCH HILL — A lot of firsts happened Monday evening at Volunteer during the District 1-AA girls soccer quarterfinals.

The Lady Falcons hosted their first-ever home playoff match and delighted the crowd with a 6-1 win over Sullivan South — the program’s first-ever postseason victory.

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to have a home playoff game,” Volunteer coach Jeff Lukens said. “To get one and win it is pretty awesome. We’ve had to go all over the place to find girls to play. We’ve got track girls, basketball players and two cheerleaders. We made a soccer team out of it, so that’s pretty cool.”

Filling the highlight reel for the night was freshman Taylor Castle, who accounted for two first-half goals in less than a minute.

The Lady Falcons got off to a brilliant start, smothering South and getting two quick goals from Alyssa Chappell and Emma Lukens.

Lukens also had two assists and Makenzey Smith added one. Freshman Sara Winegar and Kristen Flack had the other two Volunteer goals.

“Our assistant coach (Elaine O’Brien) played the first year of this program when she was a senior and her dad was the coach,” Coach Lukens said. “She’s gotten to see the program go from winning nothing to winning a playoff game, and that’s pretty cool.”

Castle — who was hampered by illness and left school early — had scored just once all season going into the previous match against South. She scored three times in that meeting before burning the Lady Rebels again Monday.

Sydney Ferrando scored South’s goal in the 59th minute.

The Lady Falcons handily outshot South 23-9 and had 13 shots on goal. Most of South’s shots came in the second half.

“I told them in the huddle that we have nothing to lose and whoever we play next has everything to lose,” Lukens said. “We couldn’t have asked for anything better than to come out here and win tonight.”

Volunteer plays at top-seeded Greeneville in the semifinals on Tuesday.

SULLIVAN CENTRAL 7, UNICOI COUNTY 0

Behind sophomore Emme Fox’s hat trick and two goals and assist from Chipi Hamelryck, the Lady Cougars rolled to an easy win over Unicoi County in their District 1-AA quarterfinal match in Blountville.

View Cheryl Gray’s photos from the Central-Unicoi match

Bailey Mead and Lauren Hilton also got in on the scoring action for Central. Emma Niebruegge had two assists.

The Lady Cougars had 37 shots, 18 of them on goal. Unicoi had just two with none on goal.

Central advanced to play at second-seeded Elizabethton on Tuesday.