HENDERSONVILLE The Station Camp High girls soccer team knocked off second-seeded Beech, 3-0, in the District 9-AAA Tournament semifinals on Tuesday night at Drakes Creek Park’s Field of Dreams.
With the win, the Lady Bison earned the opportunity to slay another giant by facing top-seeded Hendersonville in the district championship match on Thursday evening.
“We’ll have to make the most of our chances,” Station Camp Coach Thomas Morand said of the championship match. “Russ (Plummer, the Hendersonville head coach) has got a great team.”
In their regular-season match-up, Station Camp and Hendersonville battled to a 1-1 tie before Hendersonville won on penalty kicks.
“We have to play our butts off,” Lady Bison senior captain Ashlyn Parker said.
Station Camp junior forward Megan Brinkley – who had a goal and an assist – added, “I’ve actually played with a lot of them. We know how good they are. We have a lot of respect for them.”
The win over Beech secured a spot in the Region 5-AAA Tournament for Station Camp, which entered the tournament seeded third. The Lady Bison will face either District 10-AAA Tournament champion Clarksville or runner-up Henry County, depending on the outcome of Thursday’s contest against Hendersonville.
Parker said that already qualifying for the region tournament takes some of the pressure off for the district championship game.
“But you still want to win,” Parker said.
Coming into the semifinal match against Beech, it was win or go home.
“We wanted to make sure we possessed the ball on their half of the field,” Parker said.
In the first half, the Lady Bison did exactly that and took the lead 15 minutes into the match when freshman defender Macy Carter collected a loose ball in front of the net after a corner kick and buried a shot in the back of the net.
“We talked about execution, and we talked about being hungry in the box,” Morand said. “Tonight, we executed.
“We moved the ball really well. We played a great first half.”
That was the only goal of the first half.
“We just told the girls to settle down,” Beech head coach Tim Guinn said.
The Lady Bucs played better in the second half and had several chances to score but couldn’t convert.
“We just didn’t get good looks,” Guinn said. “They play good defense. We knew they had gotten better (since their regular-season match-up that Beech won 1-0).”
Guinn had his team press forward to try to produce the tying goal, but Station Camp was able to counter. Brinkley collected a loose ball to the left of the net and fired a shot into the far side to give the Lady Bison a 2-0 lead with 11:39 left in the game.
“I looked up and saw an opening and shot it,” Brinkley said.
Station Camp iced the game by producing a third goal with 1:46 left in the game when freshman Michaela Nicholson took a pass from Brinkley in front of the net and scored.
It was the 10th shutout for the Lady Bison, who haven’t lost over their last nine matches (a stretch that includes eight wins and one tie). The team’s last setback was the 1-0 setback to the Lady Buccaneers on Sept. 15.
The loss ended Beech’s season with a 13-5 record.
Station Camp improved to 14-3-4 on the year.
“We’ve gotten better every year,” Brinkley – a three-year starter – said. “We work really hard. We focus on all the little things.”
Brinkley said that Station Camp will enter the district championship match with the same mindset it had against Beech.
“(We want to) just play our hardest … play our best,” Brinkley said.