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HomeSportsOneida Men's SoccerSoccer: Oneida falls to Pigeon Forge in region semifinals

Soccer: Oneida falls to Pigeon Forge in region semifinals

ONEIDA  |  Derek Keeton knew that the Pigeon Forge team his team was tangling with on Tuesday (May 14) was good.

The only reason the Tigers were playing on the road in the Region 1-A semifinals was because they share a district with Gatlinburg-Pittman, a team they narrowly lost to in the district championship game.

On Tuesday, the Tigers showed just how good they are, jumping out to a 3-0 halftime lead and roaring to a 7-0 win over the Indians.

It was a tough challenge for Oneida, which was short-handed. Already down senior keeper with a back injury, the Indians were also without senior forward , who reaggravated a hamstring injury in the district championship win at Kingston five days earlier.

Oneida was also limited with , who was involved in an accident over the weekend.

Still, the Indians hung in there early. In fact, Oneida out-shot Pigeon Forge 12 to 10 in the first half.

“It was hard to go in at halftime down 3-0,” Keeton said. “To be honest the quality of our shots was pretty good. We were just not on frame.”

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Pigeon Forge tacked on a fourth goal early in the second half, and from there any hope of a comeback was greatly diminished.

Keeton credited the play of sophomore keeper Ty Duncan, who has been filling in for . He said that inexperience cost Duncan a couple of times against Pigeon Forge, but that the young keeper will ultimately learn from it.

“He's gonna be just fine,” he said. “It's hard to play back there when they're putting as much pressure on you as Pigeon Forge was. But he'll grow from this.

“It was hard. Make no bones about it,” Keeton added. “When we knew Mason couldn't go, that affected the team some. Tonight it was glaring in the goal position and the forward position. That would have made a difference tonight.”

Not helping matters was officiating. With Oneida pleading for calls that would not go its way, frustration led to multiple yellow cards and one ejection.

“We did not stop playing tonight,” Keeton said. “Levi (James) and George (Kline), all those guys, they just competed their guts out.”

Keeton said that Pigeon Forge may be good enough to play in the state championship game, but said the Tigers are not seven goals better than the Indians.

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“We had some breakdowns there,” he said. “It was more what we were doing, not what they were doing. The first two goals were on them. The last three were on us.”

The Indians will bid farewell to a number of seniors, and Keeton said it has been “a pleasure to coach these guys.”

“They battled all year against the toughest schedule I've put together,” he said. “The future is bright for Oneida soccer. There's a lot of young talent running around and some good talent coming in.”

Among the seniors are and , who have been staples on the back line for Oneida all season, along with in the goal.

“Those are rock solid guys,” Keeton said.

Newcomer joined the defensive back line this season.

Up front, leaves as Oneida's all-time leading scorer. “He did a lot of good things for our team and this school,” he said. “When he was rolling he was fun to watch.”

Also departing will be , Bo Chamberlain, Kenneth Vanhook and .

Despite all the losses to graduation, Keeton said he likes the talent coming back next year.

“This team has so much young potential,” he said.

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ONEIDA  |  Derek Keeton knew that the Pigeon Forge team his team was tangling with on Tuesday (May 14) was good.

The only reason the Tigers were playing on the road in the Region 1-A semifinals was because they share a district with Gatlinburg-Pittman, a team they narrowly lost to in the district championship game.

On Tuesday, the Tigers showed just how good they are, jumping out to a 3-0 halftime lead and roaring to a 7-0 win over the Indians.

It was a tough challenge for Oneida, which was short-handed. Already down senior keeper with a back injury, the Indians were also without senior forward , who reaggravated a hamstring injury in the district championship win at Kingston five days earlier.

Oneida was also limited with , who was involved in an accident over the weekend.

- Advertisement -

Still, the Indians hung in there early. In fact, Oneida out-shot Pigeon Forge 12 to 10 in the first half.

“It was hard to go in at halftime down 3-0,” Keeton said. “To be honest the quality of our shots was pretty good. We were just not on frame.”

Pigeon Forge tacked on a fourth goal early in the second half, and from there any hope of a comeback was greatly diminished.

Keeton credited the play of sophomore keeper Ty Duncan, who has been filling in for . He said that inexperience cost Duncan a couple of times against Pigeon Forge, but that the young keeper will ultimately learn from it.

“He's gonna be just fine,” he said. “It's hard to play back there when they're putting as much pressure on you as Pigeon Forge was. But he'll grow from this.

- Advertisement -

“It was hard. Make no bones about it,” Keeton added. “When we knew Mason couldn't go, that affected the team some. Tonight it was glaring in the goal position and the forward position. That would have made a difference tonight.”

Not helping matters was officiating. With Oneida pleading for calls that would not go its way, frustration led to multiple yellow cards and one ejection.

“We did not stop playing tonight,” Keeton said. “Levi (James) and George (Kline), all those guys, they just competed their guts out.”

Keeton said that Pigeon Forge may be good enough to play in the state championship game, but said the Tigers are not seven goals better than the Indians.

“We had some breakdowns there,” he said. “It was more what we were doing, not what they were doing. The first two goals were on them. The last three were on us.”

- Advertisement -

The Indians will bid farewell to a number of seniors, and Keeton said it has been “a pleasure to coach these guys.”

“They battled all year against the toughest schedule I've put together,” he said. “The future is bright for Oneida soccer. There's a lot of young talent running around and some good talent coming in.”

Among the seniors are and , who have been staples on the back line for Oneida all season, along with in the goal.

“Those are rock solid guys,” Keeton said.

Newcomer joined the defensive back line this season.

Up front, leaves as Oneida's all-time leading scorer. “He did a lot of good things for our team and this school,” he said. “When he was rolling he was fun to watch.”

Also departing will be , Bo Chamberlain, Kenneth Vanhook and .

Despite all the losses to graduation, Keeton said he likes the talent coming back next year.

“This team has so much young potential,” he said.

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