A big win against a District 3-AAA rival helped the Oak Ridge High School girls soccer team move into second place in the league standings Thursday night.
The Lady Wildcats (6-4 overall, 3-1 in the district) notched a key victory as they defeated Powell 3-1 at home.
“This was a big win for us,” Oak Ridge coach Donnie Green said. “Powell has had the upper hand on us for the last several years.
“Every three, four or five years, we’ve been able to beat them.”
The last time Oak Ridge defeated the Lady Panthers, the defending district tournament champions, was in 2019. The Lady Wildcats were district champions last season.
“The last time we beat Powell was in 2019 and we won the district championship,” Green said. “Before that, the last time we beat them was in 2016.”
Oak Ridge took an early lead as it went ahead, 1-0. Aniya Fisher scored the first goal of the match when she tallied in the third minute of the match. Hayven Laurendine was credited with an assist on the game’s first marker.
The Lady Panthers (5-3-1, 1-1) pulled even when they scored in the sixth minute.
From there, however, the Lady Wildcats took control of the match as they scored the go-ahead marker in the 17th minute as Mia Wiest tallied an unassisted goal.
Edie Weston closed out the scoring as she tallied an unassisted marker in the 58th minute.
The big district win came after Green made a tactical switch.
“I made a change and I changed our center backs,” Green said. “Now, I have three freshmen on our back line.
“Making that change made our back line stronger. The communication is there. The team chemistry is there and the confidence is there. We’re more confident and the change has improved our back line. The trust is there and the biggest thing is that they’re trusting each other.”
Oak Ridge opened the week with a 5-1 non-district loss to Maryville on Monday, Sept. 12.
The Lady Wildcats lost to the Lady Rebels despite outshooting Maryville 18-10.
“We had 18 shots on goal and that made things really frustrating,” Green said. “We’ve outshot every team that we played except West.
“The score of the Maryville game wasn’t indicative of the way we played. We played really well. We actually controlled the possession against Maryville.”
Oak Ridge scored its lone goal of the match when Laurendine tallied in the 64th minute.