Despite netting a pair of second-half scores, a comeback wasn’t in the cards for Tullahoma as the Lady Wildcats saw their season end with a 5-2 at Nolensville in the District 11-AA Semifinal on Tuesday.
Nolensville put up four first-half goals to take a 4-0 advantage into halftime. Tullahoma answered with an early score in the second half, but the Lady Knights matched that shortly thereafter, making the score 5-1. The Lady Wildcats added one final score with just over seven minutes left to play in the contest.
After defeating Tullahoma on Tuesday, Nolensville was scheduled to host Page on Thursday for the District 11-AA Title Match. However, as of press time, the result of that game was unavailable.
Both Nolensville and Page had already clinched their seats into the Region 10 Tournament after making it into the district title game. The winner of the district tournament would host its first round region game, while the loser would have to travel. The Region 10 Tournament is scheduled to get underway next week.
After a competitive first 10 minutes of play on Tuesday that saw each team trade possessions, Nolensville began to take control over Tullahoma in the final 30 minutes of the first half. Sophomore Delanie Gebhard netted the first two goals for the Lady Knights.
In a scrum for the ball, Gebhard was able to garner possession. From there, she fired off a shot that bound the bottom left side of the goal, putting Nolensville in front 1-0 with 29:28 remaining in the first half.
Less than four minutes later, Gebhard added her second score, giving the Lady Knights a 2-0 edge. After a Nolensville shot, Tullahoma goal keeper Trinity Tennant went out to try to play the ball, however, she collided with two other players. Gebhard was there to get the rebound, easily scoring with 25:56 left in the first period.
Nolensville went on to add two more goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half. Kaitlyn Sneed added the next goal for the Lady Knights, before Elise Dobson capped off the first period with a score.
With under nine minutes left in the opening half, Nolensville pushed the ball downfield, where Dobson landed with possession. She was able to pass it to Sneed, who put up a shot that just went over the head of new THS goal keeper Elizabeth Johnson with 8:29 remaining in the first period.
Nearly seven minutes later, Dobson again got possession. However, she took the ball herself this time and netted the goal that found the left side of the net, making the score 4-0 with 1:19 left in the first half.
Nolensville put up 12 shots in the first half and was highly accurate as eight of those opportunities landed on frame. Tullahoma had two early shots, both of which were on target, but were limited on their chances in the final 30 minutes of the first half.
However, the Lady Wildcats were able to connect for a score early in the first half, cutting their deficit to 4-1. After several Tullahoma players passed the ball back and forth, the ball landed to Katy Champion, who was able to find the bottom right corner of the net with 32:41 remaining in the match.
Less than two minutes later, though, Nolensville padded its lead as Parker Leftwich got into the scoring column for the Lady Knights. After Tullahoma attempted a score, Nolensville quickly broke downfield the other way, as Leftwich connected for the score with 30:16 left in the contest, making the score 5-1.
Tullahoma added the final score of the match with 7:02 remaining on the clock, cutting its deficit to 5-2. On a free kick opportunity, just outside the keeper’s box, Cassidy Connor was able to put up a shot that deflected off the hands of Nolensville goalkeeper Ava Ciampa, and into the back of the net.
After having just two shots in the first half, Tullahoma tripled that number with six opportunities in the second half. Five of the Lady Wildcats’ scoring chances were on frame in the second half. Nolensville put up eight second-half shots of their own, five of which were on target.
Tullahoma concluded the season with an overall record of 8-5-1, going 3-3-1 against District 11-AA opponents. In order to play Nolensville on Tuesday, the Lady Wildcats were coming off of a 2-1 home win over Central Magnet last Thursday. In that game, THS trailed 1-0 late, before Meredith Fogle and Natalie Nunn scored in the final 10 minutes of play, giving Tullahoma the victory.