No easy goal in the postseason

Oct. 16, 2013 @ 07:13 PM

 How hard is it to score in the postseason?

Just ask the Seymour and Sevier County girls soccer teams. In two postseason meetings the last two years, the schools have combined for two goals in 180 minutes.

“Everybody gets so anxious to score because they want it so bad,” said Bearettes sophomore Savannah Stair. “... I either held it too long or didn’t hold it long enough. It’s just a matter of finding the goal and getting your head up.”

Despite chance after chance, the dam never broke for Stair and Sevier County in Monday’s 1-0, double-overtime loss to the Eagles in the District 2-AAA tournament at Johnson University. The only goal came off a corner kick goalkeeper Marah Herrell had her hands on before Seymour’s Danielle Dutcher booted it into the back of the net in the first overtime. The win moved the Eagles into the district semifinals one year after Sevier County rode a 1-0 win over Seymour to the district title game.

“That was a good finish,” said Courtney Dyer who put the ball at Dutcher’s feet with a well-placed corner kick. “I couldn’t take anything away from (Dutcher). Without her that would’ve just been a ball at the PK spot.”

Finishing was the missing component for both teams for the better part of 85 minutes on Monday. The Bearettes were able to possess the ball for long stretches, using Stair as the dynamo in the middle. She broke up passes in the midfield, but, boy, did it get tough in the final third. On one breakaway, Dyer backtracked from her midfield spot to dispossess Stair before she could get a shot off. Lily Marine made 11 saves to earn the shutout for Seymour.

“If you miss that first (chance), every one after that becomes even more crushing,” said Eagles assistant coach Travis Hawkins. “You don’t get that first one, the second one doesn’t go in, you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to miss all of them.’ It really is tough once you get that momentum going, especially with young players, to just throw it out of their head, don’t worry about it.”

The Eagles had their own struggles, with Dyer sparking fruitless counters down the field. She found Sarah Brewer several times, once on a give-and-go that stretched the length of the field, only to have shots go wide or right at Herrell. Brewer took five shots, Brianna Stoppelbein had two and Dyer had one, but none of them connected.

“I think being 0-0 for so long, we were starting to bite our nails,” Dyer said. “We felt like we were getting hungry. We were just like, ‘We’ve got to get one now.’ At halftime we talked about passing a little bit but looking for the through balls. I think we took a little more through ball than passing.”

The goal Sevier County needed was just beyond their grasp all night. Surely one of a flurry of opportunities would finally cross the line. 

It never happened.

“I just knew one of them was going to go in,” said Bearettes coach Tim Bohanan. “That’s something we’ve really struggled with this season is finding someone to have that killer instinct. We ended up with our leading scorer only having seven goals. We had 11 different players on our team score a goal in the season but, again, our goal scoring was just down quite a bit from last year.”