The Tennessee boys' soccer team missed out on a number of opportunities in the first half of their all-star match against recent Georgia high school graduates Saturday.
They capitalized in the second half.
Tennessee broke open a tight match with three second-half goals and a 3-0 victory at Finley Stadium. The girls' match also had a three-goal differential in favor of Tennessee, 5-2.
The boys' most valuable player, goalkeeper Tim Barnes from Notre Dame, finished with a game-record 15 saves.
"We knew there were a lot of players from [Georgia state champion] Dalton and Northwest Whitfield, and they pressured us a lot," Barnes said. "The defense played very well."
Barnes ranged right and left to make some of his saves, apparently some of them blindly.
"I can tell you I didn't see all of the saves," he said. "It was a total reaction."
After a tight battle for the first 40 minutes, Tennessee was able to mount an attack in the second. Notre Dame's Baggio Card put the team on top with a goal assisted by East Hamilton's Kyle Gallups two minutes into the second half. East Hamilton's Jalen Goddard was fouled outside of the box later in the half, then scored on a free kick to make it 2-0.
McCallie's Hunter Brock completed the scoring on a breakaway counter in the final moments.
"We had to do a better job of possessing in the midfield," Tennessee coach Jim Schermerhorn of Notre Dame said. "We had to create more opportunities in the second half, but we had some speed and were able to get behind the defense."
Soddy-Daisy standout Summer Lanter scored a hat trick in the girls' game, scoring two of her three goals in the final 40 minutes to break a 2-all halftime tie.
The future Lee University player also had a cross leading to the game's first goal. It was mishandled by the goalkeeper before being knocked in by Lady Trojans teammate Natalie Smith. Lanter was named Tennessee's most valuable player.
"It was a fun environment. We're all so used to playing against each other, but we were able to combine forces today," Lanter said. "We were getting better chances, but we just had to put a few of them in in the second half."
River Ridge's Shannon Driscoll and Heritage's Blair Harden scored the first-half goals for Georgia. Allatoona's Suzanne Arafa, a Kennesaw State signee, assisted on both and was named Georgia MVP.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.