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Oak Ridge soccer living large with defense

The 2023 high school girls soccer season has passed the midway point for Oak Ridge High School.

And the Lady Wildcats are in the midst of something special on the pitch as they have one of the top defenses in East Tennessee.

Oak Ridge’s back line and goalkeepers haven’t surrendered a goal since the first week of the season.

Freshman Marleigh Frazier has played the majority of the time between the goalposts for ORHS.

Webb School of Knoxville was the last side to score against the Lady Wildcats in a 2-1 victory on Aug. 17. Oak Ridge and Maryville played to a 3-3 draw to open the season in mid-August.

But Oak Ridge hasn’t given up a goal since the first week of the season. The Lady Wildcats have won seven consecutive games and notched six straight clean sheets during their winning streak, which continued last week with wins over Lakeway Christian School and Knoxville Halls.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, Oak Ridge (7-0-1 overall, 1-0 in District 3-AAA), avenged last year’s 2-1 loss to the Lady Lions. The Lady Wildcats captured a 6-0 victory.

“We went up there last year and they upset us because we didn’t take them seriously,” ORHS Coach Donnie Green said. “Our girls just thought they were going to go up there and walk through them. They were laughing and goofing off during warm-ups.

“They have a long memory, and they remembered what happened last year.”

Oak Ridge obviously didn’t want a repeat performance, and Aniya Fisher and Hayven Laurendine certainly did their best to make sure that didn’t happen.

Fisher scored twice and dished out an assist, while Laurendine tallied a goal and two assists.

Lilah Kim, Lera Lee and Estrella Perez-Rodriguez also had markers for the Lady Wildcats. Mia Wiest and Abbey Pressley also recorded helpers in the match.

Oak Ridge opened district play Thursday night with a 2-0 win over the Lady Devils.

Brooklyn Henderson scored off an assist by Lee, and Laurendine headed in a corner kick from Fisher on a short turf field at Dinzle “Dink” Adams Field in North Knox County.

“We struggled on the turf and the short field,” Green said. “We love to play our wide grass field.

“Halls is a really scrappy team. They move well together and they’re quick to the ball and we struggled for about the first 30 minutes before we got settled. They’re a good team and they’re very physical.”

Oak Ridge traveled to Karns Tuesday but results were not available at press time. The Lady Wildcats will travel to Powell Friday. Kickoff for the game against the Lady Panthers is scheduled for 6 p.m.