BY BRIAN HAMILTON
CHATTANOOGA – Alcoa picked up a 1-0 win over the Chattanooga School of Arts and Sciences on Thursday evening — one day after mercy-ruling Crosstown 9-0 — to advance to the state championship game against Merrol Hyde on Saturday.
The Lady Tornadoes scored in the seventh minute against CSAS when Wendy Beristain kicked in a free kick by Scout Lauderback to take an early 1-0 lead.
While it looked as if Alcoa was headed toward another route after scoring so early, the final 73 minutes remained scoreless, as the Lady Tornadoes won 1-0.
“I felt like we’d probably get one or two more,” Alcoa head coach Shane Corley said. “I felt that if we could get to two or three by halftime, we could take control of the game a little bit.”
Alcoa (14-6-1) has been without Lila Miller the last three games, as the sophomore defender suffered a knee injury during the Lady Tornadoes’ 4-0 loss to Chuckey-Doak in the region championship.
“It was a good match and I think our defensive group did a fantastic job tonight,” Corley said. “We had a plan for controlling their attack and I think it worked.”
CSAS was limited to only two shots on goal during the contest.
Sophomore Charlotte Tymon, who is just one goal shy of the single-season record, was carried off the field with a leg injury on Friday. The Lady Tornadoes will have to find a way to account for her loss on Saturday if she is unable to go.
On Wednesday morning, Alcoa jumped out to an 8-0 halftime lead over Crosstown en route to a 9-0 win. Tymon scored the first goal just minutes into the contest, as she put the ball past Explorers’ goalkeeper Makiyah Vann.
Tymon scored on another give-and-go shortly after, making the score 2-0, followed by a Wendy Beristain goal, which was assisted by Annalise Erhart for a 3-0 advantage.
Alcoa has already built a 4-0 advantage by the 15th minute when Kayleea Scales scored from just outside the box. Tymon scored two more goals in the first half, giving her four for the game, and Scales and Beristain each tacked on another goal for an 8-0 lead at intermission.
“I didn’t count on that happening, to be honest, but it gave us a chance to rest some girls that have played a lot of minutes,” Corley said.
Tymon scored her fifth goal of the game in the 48th minute, which pulled her to within one goal of Sydney O’Hara’s 2017 single-season record of 33 goals in a season.
The 9-0 win advanced Alcoa to its fifth consecutive semifinal, which it won over CSAS 1-0 on Thursday.
The Lady Tornadoes will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning in the state championship against Merrol Hyde at CHI Memorial Stadium. The Lady Hawks are coming off a 3-0 win over the Chuckey-Doak in the semifinals, thwarting a rematch of the Region 1-A championship game.