KCHS girls soccer team repeats as state champs

Dan McWilliams Catholic Church, Diocese of Knoxville, News, Schools

After a marathon victory in a shootout in the semifinals, the Knoxville Catholic High School Lady Irish captured their second straight Class A-AA state soccer championship with a 4-0 victory over rival Notre Dame on Nov. 1 at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro.

Ashley Hickman scored a hat trick for KCHS to lead the Lady Irish, and goalkeeper and fellow senior Colleen Baker notched her third straight state-tournament shutout. Knoxville Catholic won its last 15 games in a row to finish 19-6 for the season.

Camille Mancini opened the scoring for Knoxville Catholic in the title game with a goal in the 12th minute. In the next 12 minutes, Ashley scored twice for a 3-0 lead, and she added another goal midway through the second half for the final margin. Each goalie had eight saves in the game, Colleen for Knoxville Catholic and Taylor Green for Notre Dame (12-6-4). KCHS outshot Notre Dame 13-6 in the contest.

In the semifinals, Knoxville Catholic and Chattanooga Christian School battled to a 0-0 tie through 80 minutes of regulation, two overtime periods, and two sudden-death overtime periods. The match went to penalty kicks, and Knoxville Catholic prevailed 10-9 in a 12-round shootout. Camille scored the deciding goal for the Lady Irish following a save by goalkeeper Colleen. KCHS outshot the Chattanooga team 15-1 in the game.

Knoxville Catholic began state-tournament play with a 6-0 win over Chester County in the quarterfinals. An own goal gave KCHS a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Ashley and Natalie Hermes then scored before halftime to put KCHS up 3-0 at the break. Camille scored twice in the second half, and Sarah Rouse added a goal to close out the scoring. Colleen and Katie Whitaker each had a goalie save for the Lady Irish.

Notre Dame opened the state tournament with a 4-0 win over Spring Hill. Sofia Olenchek and Emma Higgins each scored twice, once in each half, to lead the Irish. Emma and Liz Ciabattone recorded assists in the match. Taylor made five saves in goal for Notre Dame.

In the semifinals, Emma scored early in the second half off an assist from Kelsey Barta to give Notre Dame a 2-0 lead over Jackson Christian School, and the Irish held on for a 2-1 win. Kelsey scored off an assist from Sofia early in the first half for Notre Dame. Taylor made four saves in goal. Jackson Christian entered the game with a 20-1-2 record.