Girls Varsity Soccer·
Smyrna soccer’s best season in 12 years comes to end in region semifinals
Cecil Joyce, Daily News Journal
It wasn’t exactly the ending the Smyrna girls soccer team was looking for Tuesday afternoon in the Region 5-AAA semifinals.
However, a 7-1 loss to Hendersonville won’t tarnish the Lady Bulldogs’ best season in more than a decade.
Smyrna won its first district title Friday with a 3-2 victory over Mt. Juliet in the 9-AAA finals, earning the right to host the region semis.
“Winning the district was an accomplishment, especially this being our first year (in 9-AAA),” said first-year Smyrna coach Austin Hayes. “We started slow but hit a good stride in the middle.”
Tradition-rich Hendersonville was too much for the Lady Bulldogs on Tuesday. The Lady Commandos scored three goals in the first eight minutes and led 4-0 at halftime.
Photos: Hendersonville at Smyrna in Region 5-AAA soccer semifinals
The Lady Commandos, who finished runner-up to Station Camp in 10-AAA, went up 7-0 before Smyrna’s leading scorer Ashley Barrientos put one in the back of the net late to help the hosts avoid the shutout.
“We were hopeful, but Hendersonville is a strong team…the best we have faced,” said Hayes. “Our girls could have stopped, but they pushed through for 80 minutes.”
Smyrna (8-4-4) enjoyed its best season since 2005, when the Lady Bulldogs reached the state tournament.
Barrientos, just a junior, believes the future is even brighter.
“Our team is excited about our new district and our new coach.” said Barrientos, one of five junior starters for Smyrna who will be returning. “We are expecting big things next year. We have a lot of talent and a lot of heart.”