The field was wet and the players and coaches were wound tight, as it was the semifinal of the Knoxville Independent School League JV Tournament Monday night at Maryville Christian School. The Blazers, the #2 seed, were taking on Paideia, the #3 seed, in a rematch of The Blazers overtime win last week. Coach Tyler Beard was not happy at half time. The Blazers were only down 1-0, but the coach said, "I knew Paideia wanted revenge on us from last time we played and we did not play a good first half. So, I challenged the team, knowing that they would respond."
6th Grade Midfielder Lark Miller scored just three minutes into the second half, heeding Coach Tyler's words quickly, to tie it up at 1-1. The score stood there to end the second half and took the match into Overtime. At the end of the Overtime period the score was still 1-1, sending the match into Penalty Kicks, where each team would receive 5 kicks. Goalkeeper Katia Biegalski blocked Paideia's first attempt on goal. 7th Grade Team Captain Michael DeMarchis made his kick to start CBA off right. The Knights then missed their second attempt on goal. The Blazers other 7th Grade Team Captain, MJ Brooks, came through in the clutch and made the second kick for CBA. Paideia's next two attempts missed the goal, leaving 6th Grader Alyssa Carleton the chance to win the match for The Blazers. She stepped up to the ball and made her kick, ensuing in a joyous celebration from her teammates, coaches and those in attendance for CBA.
Coach Tyler shared her happiness, "That was a big win today! Before the game our team set a goal to win by a certain amount of goals. They ended up exceeding their goal of scoring 3 and won by more than they wanted to. We have been practicing penalty kicks for a few weeks now and it definitely showed tonight. They outdid themselves and I am so proud of this team, as they should be proud of themselves. We are ready to bring home some hardware on Wednesday."
Clayton-Bradley now advances to the school's first ever KISL Tournament Championship game. It will be Wednesday night at Maryville Christian at 5pm against King's Academy on Field 2.