After injuring her ankle against Page in the District 12 A/AA championship match, Christ Presbyterian Academy senior Olivia Ball thought her season was over.
But Ball put in the hard work to rehabilitate her ankle in order to return this season, and her hard work paid off as she scored the game-winning goal Saturday to put CPA in the Class A/AA state soccer tournament next week with a 2-1 win over visiting White House-Heritage.
“She twisted her ankle and came off the field saying, ‘My season is done,’” CPA coach Tom Gerlach said of Ball. “To come back from that is just amazing.”
The state tournament begins Wednesday at Murfreesboro’s Siegel Soccer Complex.
CPA (16-2-1) took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when senior Emma Grace Barton beat White House Heritage (13-7-3) goalkeeper Addison Holmes on a penalty kick that found the bottom left of the net.
White House-Heritage senior Meagan Smith tied the score in the 25th minute to send the game to halftime tied 1-1.
“I got very excited and I thought we were completely in this game,” Smith said. “At that moment we were like, ‘we can do this.’”
The score held for more than 40 minutes until Ball found the back of the net on an Anna Avinger cross in the 67th minute.
“It was just really big because I’m a senior and this is my last night on my home field,” Ball said. “This will probably be my biggest memory from high school soccer.”
For CPA, the state tournament might be coming at just the right time.
Since losing their first two games of the season, the Lions are undefeated, going 15-0-1 in that span.
“The theme of the year is endurance,” Gerlach said. “From here on out, it’s just one game at a time.”
Hendersonville 3, Independence 1: Hendersonville (15-4-3) rallied from a one-goal halftime deficit to make the Class AAA state tournament for the first time since 2006 by beating Independence (13-2-1).
Hendersonville’s Maddie Kimler put the Lady Commandos ahead for good with 16:16 left. Junior Sydney Cason scored the other two Lady Commando goals, the first on a free kick from just outside the box in the 50th minute and the second on a penalty kick.
Clarksville 2, Brentwood 1 (OT): With less than a minute left in the first 10-minute overtime, Lexie Hayes found a streaking Salera Jordan, who drilled a goal to send defending Class AAA champion Clarksville back to the state tournament.
Instead of sitting back on defense in the second overtime period, Clarksville kept the pressure on with three more shots on goal while keeping Brentwood from mounting any serious counterattack.
It’s the third straight state tournament appearance for Clarksville.
Brentwood took an early lead when sophomore Madolyn Donehoo rebounded a shot that was initially stopped by Clarksville goalie Melia Correa.
But two minutes later, Clarksville freshman Madison Allen fended off a Brentwood defender and smoked the ball across her body to the upper right corner of the net.
Cookeville 2, Oakland 1: Cookeville’s Kendall Powell scored in the 102nd minute to advance the Cavaliers to the Class AAA state tournament.
In other AAA action, Lincoln County (15-4-1) advanced to the Class AAA state tourney with a 1-0 win over Walker Valley Saturday.
Page 4, White House 3: Page (15-6-2) converted its first four penalty kicks (Kendal Webb, Caitlyn Sutton, Emma Sanders and Megan Henry) to end the shootout with a 4-1 margin and earn a berth in the Class A/AA state tournament for the third time in program history.
White House (16-4-3) led 3-1 at halftime, thanks to sophomore Madisson Davis’ hat trick. The Lady Devils lost in the sectional round for the third consecutive season, falling in OT at Spring Hill a year ago.
Division II: Ensworth (15-1-1) advanced to the final four in DII-AA with a 1-0 win over Evangelical Christian School, while Harpeth Hall (13-3-3) suffered a 4-3 setback to Girls Preparatory School in the quarterfinals. Father Ryan (8-6-4) also ended its season with a 1-0 loss to Briarcrest.
BGA (11-8-3) advanced to the state semifinals, downing St. Mary’s 3-1 in DII-A quarterfinal action.
On Friday, Franklin Road Academy and University School of Nashville both were eliminated in DII-A. FRA fell 2-0 at St. George’s while USN dropped a 1-0 decision (in OT penalty kicks) at University School of Jackson.
Gannett Tennessee’s Sam Brown, Craig Harris, Tom Kreager, Chris Brooks and George Robinson contributed to this report.