In the 65th minute of the match, the Hawks’ Ben Brophy broke a scoreless tie with a goal on an assist from D J Powers, and HVA led 1-0.
Ten minutes later, Brady Hammer’s unassisted goal made it 2-0, and the Hawks held on for a 2-1 win.
“Originally it was a shot by D J, and then got deflected and went straight to me, and I could just tap it into the side,” Brophy said. “This is a pretty big win because we sealed the third seed.”
“We’d been going at ’em all game,” Hammer said. “We just needed one to keep going. The ball got played
over the top, shift off their
center-back, and I was just in on goal.”
The win was especially gratifying for HVA, given the Hawks lost three times to Farragut last year: in the regular season match, then in the district and region tournaments.
“I think it was just motivation, like they had our number all last year,” Hardin Valley head coach Jessie Stephens said. “That’s something we’ve been trying to work on mentally, which is being tough and being strong.
“We’re starting to get some people back from injuries and that’s a really positive thing for us,” she added. “They definitely came out in the first half and threw some looks at us that we had not seen. I think it took some adjusting and staying true to what we wanted to do.”
Despite a 5-8-2 overall record (2-2-1 district, with Heritage this week), Admirals head coach Bradley Culbreth’s belief in his team remains undiminished.
“We can play with anybody,” he said. “Little mistakes lead to big mistakes. They’re talented, we knew they were good. Even at 5-8-2, I still feel like we can beat anybody. But tonight we made too many mistakes and they capitalized on them.”
Farragut’s goal came in the last seconds from Will Gallaher on a penalty kick. HVA had 10 shots on goal to Farragut’s four.
The Hawks are tied for second with Maryville in the district, each with a 4-1-1 record — but the Rebels have the tiebreaker due to beating the Hawks 2-1 March 29.
HVA, who tied district champ Bearden 0-0 Thursday, April 21, finished the regular season 11-1-3.
HVA will host Heritage when the district tournament opens Monday, May 9. Farragut will host Lenoir City. The Hawks dominated Heritage 9-0 this season; the Ads beat LCHS 3-2.
“Farragut’s been one of the top programs in the state for years,” Stephens said. “So coming back here, we really wanted to see if we could get that monkey off our back.”