Golden goal: Lady Jets defeat Lady Panthers in overtime thriller

Sep. 29—Cumberland County High School's Lady Jets soccer team defeated cross-town district foe the Stone Memorial Lady Panthers Tuesday night, with a 2-1 overtime victory.

"It's always a good rivalry game between us and Stone," CCHS coach Cub Whitson said following the win. "It's a bit stressful with the overtime, but I love getting put in those situations before the tournament."

Lady Panther's coach Tyler Rutherford said, "I think we played a very good game of soccer overall. It's hard to go for 88 minutes and be able to keep working."

Stone got on the board first. Haley Suggs scored just two-and-a-half minutes into the game. But the teams were locked in a defensive battle for most of the contest.

Stone led 1-0 at the half and had blocked three shots by the Lady Jets.

Defensive plays dominated the second half, as well, with stolen passes and some contact on the field as players vied for possession of the ball.

Cumberland County's Mariana Alva scored with 15:17 left in the game, tying the score at 1-1, and energizing her team. However, Stone continued to block shots, keeping the game tied until the final buzzer of regulation play.

Overtime rules call for two 10-minute overtime periods. However, the first team to score during overtime wins the contest.

Lady Jet Alva found the goal again with 1 minute, 52 seconds left in overtime, ending the contest with a 2-1 win.

"It was a few little things here and there we need to clean up. CCHS had a couple of lucky breaks in their favor. We had a couple of lucky breaks but we weren't able to capitalize on some of the opportunities," Rutherford said.

Whitson said, "It's a great learning lesson. The environment and atmosphere is amazing. I'm glad we get to experience a game of this magnitude before we get to post-season."

The Lady Jets stand at 11-5 for the season and 6-1 in District 6AA.

CCHS hosts East Hamilton High School Saturday at noon and Oneida Monday at 6 p.m. Both are non-district contests leading the team into the post season. Monday will honor the team's senior players.

Stone is currently 6-6-1 overall and 3-2 in district play. SMHS hosts White County Thursday for Senior Night at the school and will travel to Livingston Academy Tuesday to close the regular season. Both are district games.

CCHS and SMHS will play in the district tournament the week of Oct. 10, to be held at Upperman High School.

Heather Mullinix is editor of the Crossville Chronicle. She covers schools and education in Cumberland County. She may be reached at