Annemarie Konieczny and Tanna Bookhammer each bagged a pair of goals to help lead Greeneville’s Lady Devils to their 15th consecutive district soccer tournament championship on Thursday night with a 5-0 win over Tennessee High.
Greeneville coach Jerry Graham said it’s a reflection on the players and the team that they could keep the winning tradition alive even in a rebuilding year.
“I couldn’t be more happy for the program,” said Graham as the Lady Devils celebrated the victory at Bellamy Park. “Losing seven seniors last year, we knew our job was going to be to develop chemistry this year, and it was going to take us a little bit. I’m real proud of where these girls are right now.”
Konieczny scored the game’s opening goal mid way of the first half, then Bookhammer doubled the lead before the break. Another goal from each around a strike from Abi Kate Moore early in the second half had Greeneville well on its way to the win.
“We told them to make sure their off the ball movement was good, to create things,” Graham said.
Greeneville’s Lily Evatt got the shutout in goal with the help of a solid back line in Molly Hartman, Allie Renner, Chloe Treadway and Gabi Stayton.
Evatt only had to make four saves all night, and Greeneville’s defense limited the Lady Vikings to only one shot on goal in the second half. They didn’t give up a corner kick all night.
“You can’t speak highly enough of Molly and Allie on the inside. They did a tremendous job of stepping. Then you’ve got Chole and Gabi on the outside overlapping,” Graham said.
Greeneville peppered Lady Viking goalkeeper Bridget Flaherty with shots all night, and five of them found the back of the net.
Konieczny got her first in the 19th minute with an assist from Kiley Scott. Anna Shaw hit the crossbar for Greeneville in the 24th, but two minutes later Bookhammer headed home an assist from Kendyl Foshie.
Tennessee High’s best chance of the night came in the 35th minute when Abby Littleton hit the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced straight down and was headed across the line when Evatt recovered to make the save and keep the score at 2-0 at halftime.
Goals in quick order to start the second half put the game away. Konieczny was left unmarked at the top of the box in the 48th minute, and she slammed the ball past the keeper. A minute later, Moore put the ball in the lower left corner from inside the box. Bookhammer made it 5-0 in the 57th minute, burying a rebound from close range.
The win means the District 1-AA champion Lady Devils will host the District 2-AA runner up Grainger on Tuesday night in the opening round of the region tournament. Graham said he’s happy with the result.
“To be able to stay at home is a tremendous advantage,” Graham said. “As long as we keep winning, the road comes through here.”