CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Though there are very few instances when a high school girls' soccer player can draw comparisons to a NBA player, the week that Soddy-Daisy's Megan Weller has had is mildly reminiscent of Robert Horry.
Why? Big shots in the biggest moments.
Weller scored with about a minute remaining in the first golden goal period against Cleveland, giving the Lady Trojans a 1-0 victory. It was Weller's second winning score of the week, as she performed a similar feat Tuesday against McMinn County.
District 5-AAA has decided to play two golden-goal periods in district matches, hoping to determine a winner. There have been five overtime matches so far this year in the new format, with Cleveland playing in three and winning one. Soddy-Daisy is 2-0.
"The goal was to hope to break tiebreakers going into our district meetings," Soddy-Daisy coach Moises Drumond said. "We're still going to have some of those problems, so we still might have a problem."
For better parts of the evening, the Lady Raiders controlled the pace of play to the point where Drumond told the team, "If we don't win more of the 50-50 balls, we're not going to win."
Possession started to swing toward the Lady Trojans — who are playing without star forward Summer Lanter, out with a knee injury — from that point on. Weller's game-winner came when Miranda Smith headed a ball back to her and the junior punched a shot over the head of keeper Jenna Scoggins, who had 10 saves up to that point.
"I decided to follow up on the play, and when I shot it I was so excited to see it go in," Weller said. "We've been able to stay in these games the best we could, and these past few games show we're deeper than just Summer and we don't just depend on her, but we'll be even better when she does get back."
Cleveland coach Andy Byrd felt his team had the better of the chances and "can't wait to face them again in the championship ... if we beat McMinn.
"We put together more quality chances. This is the best we've played all season long," he said. "We created well, but it just takes one and they got it this time."