This story was updated Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, at 10 p.m. with more information.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Reilly Furr lifted the TSSAA Class A girls' soccer state championship trophy — the program's third straight — over her head as she broke down the team huddle with an ecstatic final hurrah.
The senior goal keeper for the Lady Eagles was sensational as Furr made numerous diving stops to lead a 1-0 title victory over Merrol Hyde at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex on Monday.
"Out of all the memories I have with this program, none will top this," said Furr who had six saves and was aided by a stellar back line of Haleigh Ward, Jenny Daverson, Lainey Jenkins and Maddie Avery. "We made history today. There hasn't been a girls' soccer program that has had a 3-peat in a while. We all did amazing and did what we had to do to make it happen."
Signal Mountain (15-2-2) became the first team since Baylor to win three straight state championships. The Lady Red Raiders won four straight from 2001-04.
Freshman Ava Duffey chipped-in the game-winning score — from 20 yards — into the back left side of the net in the 74th minute. Duffey was lifted into the air by her teammates after the final whistle.
"We worked really well together and just needed that one opportunity because I knew we could hold them until the end," said Duffey who scored two goals and assisted a pair over three state tournament victories. "I am proud of all my teammates and am grateful for all the seniors."
Gutsy performances were given by Signal Mountain seniors Haleigh Ward and Briley Lowry, as each played through knee injuries.
Merrol Hyde (11-3-1) was sharp in the first half, but was often turned away by Ward who was in the right position and made impressive clearances.
"It was a hard fought game and they are a great team," Ward said. "We played them in the 2018 state title match and also won that game 1-0 with a goal in the last five minutes. We really wanted to win this and had to do everything we could in our power to come out on top."
Lowry did not sub in until the second half, but the Lady Eagles' leading scorer made a huge difference. Speeding down the middle with knee braces on both legs, Lowry took a line-drive shot that was deflected back to Duffey for the game-winner.
"Briley and Haleigh both wanted to play through ACL injuries to help us try to win state again," Signal Mountain coach Richard Northcutt said. "Briley helped set up that final goal by taking a good shot. Our back line also played really well together. They would beat us at times today, but there was always another person there to stop it."
Signal Mountain's Camilla Mincy and Merrol Hyde's Abigail Oaks each had shots hit off the cross bar in the first half. The Lady Eagles outshout their opponent 16-12, including 9-5 in the second half.
Mincy had four goals and an assist in the state tournament as the Lady Eagles outscored their competition 9-1 and had a 79-33 shot advantage in wins over McKenzie, Alcoa and Merrol Hyde.
A Lady Eagles senior class of eight finished with a record of 58-20-4.
"You can't have a better senior class than this," Northcutt said. "To win three championships and have a runner-up state finish their freshman year is hard to top. These girls made history and played a really good game today."
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.