MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Signal Mountain's continued run of dominance in Class A girls' soccer has a common theme to it.
The Lady Eagles' passing was again a thing of beauty as they advanced to the state title matchup for a third straight year, and they unleashed 17 shots and scored four times in the first half of a 5-0 semifinal victory over Cosby on Thursday night at the Richard Siegel complex.
Kicking up mud with every stride, senior star Camilla Mincey went through the middle of the defense early, passing back and forth with senior sidekick Kennedy Ethridge, who boomed home the first goal for the second straight day, this time in the fifth minute. Ethridge had scored in the sixth minute of a 3-0 quarterfinal win against Madison Magnet.
"Since our rise to the top of Class A soccer two years ago, we said we are going to pass to our team without the fear of messing up, for better or for worse," Signal Mountain coach Richard Northcut said. "The first half we played directly into the wind on a difficult playing surface and still did really well.
"Everyone played well, even our subs. We were one-two touch passing and it was good soccer."
Even defensive back Jenny Daverson get involved in the stout passing attack on the outside and landed an assist to Ethridge in the 14th minute to make it 2-0.
Saturday's 5 p.m. EST final at the same site will be a matchup of familiar foes as Signal Mountain (15-7) and Alcoa (14-5) will add another chapter to their rivalry. The Lady Tornadoes beat Signal Mountain 2-0 in the 2017 title match, but the Lady Eagles pulled out a semifinals victory against Alcoa last year.
Alco won 3-0 against Adamsville (13-3-1) on Thursday.
Northcutt was glad to get several of his key starters rest during a body-numbing match in the mud.
"Camilla and Kennedy both played about a half tonight," said Northcutt, whose Lady Eagles are 45-16-2 over the past three seasons. "You would much rather have that scenario then have your girls fighting for every second on a cold, windy night and muddy field. We got the goals early, and that was crucial."
Mincey had three assists, while Virginia Whitney and Ainsley Lane also scored in a red-hot first half for the Lady Eagles. An own goal by Cosby early in the second half completed the scoring, and junior goalie Reilly Furr had two saves for the second straight day.
"Camilla has scored a ton, but she set up the first two goals with her passing," Northcutt said. "We played really good soccer today, and all of the girls passed really well."