Matthews' penalty kick salvages tie for Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge needed a second-half penalty kick from Mckenly Matthews to salvage a 1-1 tie with The King’s Academy on Thursday.
The Tigers dominated possession for long stretches, raining shot after shot on Lions keeper Nick Heath. But Daiki Yonemaru headed a free kick from Bum Kim past Pigeon Forge keeper Tyler Watts in the 65th minute to give TKA a 1-0 lead against the run of play. But the Tigers drew a penalty kick three minutes later and Matthews calmly slotted it into the corner.
“I’m a senior. I’ve watched kids for four years take those and I knew I wanted it,” Matthews said. “I knew I could make it.”
It was a saving grace on an afternoon when Pigeon Forge had opportunity after opportunity and just couldn’t finish, particularly in the second half. That included a high ball from Marcello Matute that Heath had to bump out of bounds like a volleyball player 10 minutes into the second half.
“It was pretty rough,” Heath said. “They had quite a few good players. … We were keeping position. I think that was one of the big things.”
TKA was able to threaten when it moved the ball past the midfield and onto the feet of dangerous attackers like Jason Maduafokwa and Nick Tilley. But, like the Tigers, the Lions couldn’t connect on goal outside of that second-half set piece.
“We’re not where we need to be at this point,” said TKA coach Jeff Monckton.” For the style of game that I play and coach, the midfield is the key. My midfielders are coming to terms with that right now because they’re not used to such a style of play. I’m having to teach them to do certain things within that midfield. Once they get a few more games underneath their legs, I think the midfield is going to be 10 times better than it was today.”
Morristown East 3, Sevier County 2
MORRISTOWN — The Smoky Bears fell down 2-0 early before getting back into the game on goals by Connor and Kenny Fisher.
But the Hurricanes took the win off a corner kick with about two minutes to play.
“We really did play well in the second half,” said Sevier County coach Bryan Atchley. “Then you feel like, if it goes to overtime we’ve got the momentum. Then, all of a sudden, boom, (the goal) happens out of nowhere. It was just a gut punch.”
Atchley said his team got off to a slow start, bothered by another team that put extra defenders back to guard against dangerous striker Anthony Lemus and the Bears’ speedy offense. The coach said it’s apparent Sevier County has to rely on more possession passing to move defenses and open up space.
“If you can move and shift the ball and shift the defense than those lanes are going to open up,” he said. “Then, play the through balls when you get a chance.”
Gatlinburg-Pittman 8, Cosby 1
COSBY — Harrison Genseal’s hat trick led the offensive onslaught for the Highlanders.
Noah Reid and Luis Sauceda had two goals each while Luke Stone added a tally. G-P assistant coach Van Harper said the game was a good chance to get back to possession-based soccer after the Highlanders were forced to concede more in the Rocky Top Cup.
“We had the ball for pretty much all 80 minutes,” Harper said. “Good for us to be able to work on that and realize we could do that for the rest of our season.”
Seymour 5, Jefferson County 2 (8)
DANDRIDGE — The Eagles closed strong after a slow-start for the eight-inning victory.
Seymour scored two in the sixth, threatened in the seventh and finally won with a three-run eighth. Emily Palmer drove in two runs on the night while Hannah Lawson and Kaitlin Atkins had two hits each.
Sam Trentham got the win, giving up two hits and two runs in the first before shutting Jefferson County down the rest of the way. She struck out 11.
“We need some adversity,” said Seymour coach Jess Sterling. “I was very pleased with the fight back. They stuck with it, kept grinding. It’s good to see us to get down and have to find a way to win.”
Cocke County 6, Sevier County 2
NEWPORT — The Bearettes led 2-0 early before the defense fell apart in a five-run fifth.
“(Brooke Whaley) had a good game pitching,” said Sevier County coach Ashley Miller. “They were hitting her some. She was getting them to hit ground balls. We just fell apart defensively.”
Whaley struck out while Laura Ratledge and Emily Lavoie scored in the first off Lady Red errors. Ratledge reached base every time she stepped to the plate.
Sevier County splits with Cherokee
ROGERSVILLE — The Sevier County boys lost 6-3 to the hosts while the girls won by the same margin.
Sawyer Lambdin, Katlyn Davis, Alexis McCarter and Jessah Hill had two wins each for the Bearettes. Will Jones had a doubles and a singles win for the Sevier County boys while teammates Colin Moore, Antonio Pucci and Eric Jones earned doubles victories.
Pigeon Forge sweeps Chuckey-Doak
PIGEON FORGE — The Tiger girls cruised to a 9-0 win while the boys won 6-3.
Garrett Byrd, Chad Gibson, Daniel Delozier and Cale Bramer had a pair of wins each on the boys side. Dhara Patel and Hailey Dominique won the top two girls singles matches by surrendering just one game between them before winning at first doubles, 6-3, over Megan Sabo and Kelly Russ.