By RANDY CAVIN
Special to The Messenger
Obion Central’s soccer season came to an end Thursday night with a 5-0 defeat to Dyersburg in the semifinals of the Region 7A-AA Tournament.
Dyersburg, the defending tournament champ and No. 1 seed from the West, will play Westview — the No. 1 seed from the East — for the tournament championship on Tuesday.
The winner will host a sectional game while the loser will have to play its sectional game on the road.
The Lady Rebels (11-6), who defeated South Gibson 4-3 in a thrilling sudden-death finish on Tuesday, were looking for their first-ever trip to the championship game in their second regional semifinal appearance, but the Lady Trojans were too much for them to handle on this night.
Sadly enough for the Lady Rebels, the decisive goal came off of a deflection from a Central player 2:40 in the game.
The Lady Rebels were looking at a 3-0 deficit by the time the first half was over.
Central, which lost to Dyersburg 3-2 in the regular season, could not get any offense going against the Lady Trojans’ pressure defense with only two shots at the net in the first half. The Lady Trojans were only able to get seven shots themselves in the first half, but managed to get three into the net.
Central came out in the second half with more intensity on offense with nine shots at the net, but five either went wide or over the goal and Dyersburg’s goalkeeper, Katie Windle, blocked the other four.
Dyersburg scored its last two goals during the final three minutes of the match to take away any hope for a Central comeback.
“Never once did the girls give up on this game,” OC head coach Daniel Johnston said afterward. “Even with the first half deficit, they came out ready to fight back. We had our chances and just couldn’t capitalize.
“It’s always hard to have your season end, but when you have a team that has the skill to take that next step and it doesn’t happen, it’s even more painful.”
Johnston will be losing eight seniors from his 2012 team. This group of seniors was from Johnston’s first year as head coach at Central.
“This is the first year we have had players that have been with the program for four years,” the coach said. “It’s nice to be able to see them grow from that first year. They have been good examples for the underclassmen and I hope they take some of their traits and apply them to future seasons.
“We have this program going in the right direction. Each year we have achieved different goals, played harder teams and have been successful. You can see the desire in the ladies to improve and I truly believe that we will.”
The loss marked the last time in an OCCHS soccer uniform for Baylie Boucher, Brooke Jennings, Erika Alonso, Jenny Marshall, Kelsey Gibson, Olivia Turner, Katie Speed and goalkeeper Taylor Baker.
Published in The Messenger 10.19.12