Senior forward Dami Omitaomu gave Farragut High School’s boys soccer team an offensive boost when it was need most on Friday night.
“We’ve really been on our attacking third and finishing,” said Omitamou, who scored both of the Admirals’ goals in a 2-1 victory over Bearden in a key District 4-AAA match at Admiral Soccer Stadium. “We were able to get more rhythm and finish tonight.
“That will push us forward for the rest of the season.”
Farragut (6-2-2 overall, 2-1 in the district) has struggled to score at times early this year. The Admirals suffered a frustrating loss at Maryville on Tuesday, April 5. In Blount County, Farragut dropped
a 2-1 decision despite outshooting the Red Rebels 23-10.
That trend continued early on a cold and blustery spring night against the Bulldogs (7-1, 1-1).
The Admirals fell behind 1-0 in spite of the fact that the home team controlled the tempo over the first 40 minutes. Bearden took the lead when Kelvin Garcia took a pass from Jameson Elmore and promptly buried the ball past Farragut goalkeeper Eli Lewis and into the back of the Admirals net.
“In the first half, they really had us back on our heels,” Bearden coach Ryan Radcliffe said. “In the second half, we were able to do a little better and get a few more chances.
“This was a typical Bearden-Farragut game. You never have a runaway or you never really ever have a blowout. Both teams had their chances. Unfort-unately for, they were able to finish one more of their chances than we were.”
Omitaomu knotted the game in the 25th minute when he took a cross from Zachary Shopovick and scored after altering his plan of attack.
“I was thinking about hitting [the shot] the first time and changed my mind,” said Omitaomu, who will play collegiately at Pennsylvania. “I just tried to create space and get a better shot.”
Omitaomu’s marker closed the scoring in the first half as the defenses and netminders took center stage of a hotly contested and physical rivalry match.
The Admirals outshot the Bulldogs 10-7 in the game and first-year coach Ray Dover said that it was nice to see his team reverse its recent fortune.
“It’s good to come out on the winning end when we have the majority of the chances,” said Dover, who won his first game in the storied Kingston Pike rivalry. “We still have work to do in that department.
“But it’s a pleasure to be on the winning end when we have more chances.”
It also had to be nice for Dover to have Lewis, a battle-tested and savvy veteran between the goalposts.
Lewis made six saves and most of those stops came from point-blank range.
But Lewis was more than willing to share credit with his teammates after the victory.
“I feel like this was a great team effort,” Lewis said. “It felt great to get this win, especially after what had just happened against Maryville.
“We definitely want to get
back at Maryville [in the district tournament.”
The match remained even until early in the second half when Omitaomu broke the tie with his second marker of the match. The goal came in the 43rd minute and was assisted by Zach Humphries.
“Zach put up a beautiful ball,” Omitaomu said.
Farragut may want another shot at the Red Rebels but Garcia said he and the Bulldogs can’t wait to see the Admirals again.
“We’ll probably see them again at districts and I know that we will be ready for them,” Garcia said. “We both have a lot of soccer left to play.”