For the second-straight year, Tullahoma and Coffee County needed a shootout to determine a winner on Thursday night.
Last year, the Lady Wildcats used those to garner a 5-4 victory in Manchester. However, this year in Tullahoma, Coffee County pulled out the win, notching a 2-1 victory and securing the Coffee Cup on Thursday.
Tullahoma (7-6, 3-3) grabbed the early lead on Thursday, scoring at the 21:24 mark of the first half. Julia Duncan was able to net the first goal of the game, after gaining ball possession on deflected pass. Once she gained control, she made her way to the box, hopping over Coffee County goalkeeper Lucy Riddle, and finding the back of the net.
Eight minutes later, the Lady Raiders evened the score at 1. Maddy Jones added the game-tying goal, after getting a rebound and converting for the second-chance score.
With nearly 10 minutes left in regulation, some controversy ensued on the field. Riddle was given a red card after she collided with Meredith Fogle, just on the outside of the box in a race for the ball.
With a backup keeper having to go the rest of the way for Coffee County, Tullahoma was unable to take advantage. The Lady Wildcats dominated ball possession in the final 10 minutes of play, but couldn’t find the back of the net, forcing a shootout.
Alanna Coker came in to play goalie for Coffee County and came up big, notching a pair of saves. Tullahoma missed two of its four opportunities, while the Lady Raiders scored all four of her goals.
Prior to Thursday night, Tullahoma was coming off a 6-0 home win over Lawrence County on senior night on Tuesday.
Duncan scored four goals for the Lady Wildcats, including the first two of Tuesday’s matchup. Fogle added a score, while Paisley Simmons scored the final goal for the Lady Wildcats.
On Tuesday, Duncan put Tullahoma in front 1-0 with a goal with 27:39 remaining in the first half. That score came off an assist by Katy Champion, her first of four assists in the match.
Champion gained ball control at the top of the keeper’s box. From there, she was able to pass it to Duncan, who was located lower in the box, on the right side of the field. Duncan then converted her opportunity into a score, finding the bottom right corner of the net.
Less than a minute later, the duo again connected for a score. Once regaining ball control, Tullahoma quickly pushed the ball downfield. Champion once again laid off a pass to Duncan, who scored with 26:49 left in the first half, putting her team in front 2-0.
Tullahoma added one more score before the first half came to a close. After Champion received ball possession down low, she was able to hit Fogle for a pass. Fogle then slid and scored, giving THS a 3-0 lead with 20:35 remaining in the opening half.
That score held until the second half, when Duncan finished off her hat trick, after receiving a free kick just outside the keeper’s box, putting her team up 4-0. Lawrence County was called for a handball, and Duncan took the kick for Tullahoma, finding the back of the net with 27:56 left in the match.
Duncan then added another quick score for Tullahoma before her night was through, scoring with 26:02 remaining in the final period. Once gaining possession, the Lady Wildcats marched downfield, where Duncan netted the score, giving her team a 5-0 lead.
With 12:11 left in the match, Simmons connected for Tullahoma’s final score. After getting the ball on a pass from Champion, Simmons made the most of her opportunity, putting the Lady Wildcats in front 6-0.
“We are kind of an up-and-down team. We have moments where we are world-beaters and then other moments where we don’t play to our best,” said THS Head Coach Marvin Carson. “Tonight, we played a good game and played like we are capable of playing … I feel like this an indication of what we are capable of when we are playing well.”
Heading into Tuesday’s matchup, the Lady Wildcats were coming off a tournament run in Gatlinburg, which saw them garner a win, while splitting their other two matches. Tullahoma defeated Calvary Christian 4-0 last Saturday, but split a match 1-1 with Copper High School earlier in the day. Both of those opponents that Tullahoma played on Saturday were from Kentucky.
The Lady Wildcats then split a 2-2 matchup with Merrol Hyde on Sunday. Despite only winning one game, Carson said he was really proud of the way that his team played.
“Every team that we faced up there was a quality team. There were two teams from Kentucky that we played. We tied one match at 1. We were the better team in that one, we just got unlucky and they scored in the final five minutes of that one.”
Tullahoma will try to put the Coffee Cup loss behind them when its hosts a pair of games this week. The Lady Wildcats will first welcome Giles County to the field at East Middle School on Tuesday, before hosting Shelbyville on Thursday. Kickoff on both days is scheduled for 7 p.m.