High School

Lady Devils Heading To State Playing Their Best Soccer

Lady Devils Heading To State Playing Their Best Soccer
Written by 
Tate Russell
October 26, 2022

The Greeneville soccer team is playing its best at the right time of the year, and will begin its pursuit the program’s fifth state championship on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lady Devils will open the Class AA State Tournament at 1:30 p.m. at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga against Dyersburg.

“We really feel like the girls are playing some of their best soccer right now,” Greeneville coach Jerry Graham said. “Offensively and defensively we feel like we are combining really well, and we are really excited for this week. We just need to be focused on being comfortable. As long as we don’t get away from who we are we should be fine.”

Dyersburg is a familiar foe for the Lady Devils, as the two teams met in the same game a year ago. That time Greeneville won 5-0. The Lady Trojans return some of their top players from last year’s team and have earned District 14-AA and Region 7-AA championships on the way to 19-2 record.

The Lady Trojans bring back a pair of dangerous scorers in Addie Hurst, who has found the back of the net 111 times in her career, and Zainab Manneh, who has scored 45 times this year. The Lady Trojans are averaging 4.8 goals per game.

“Regardless of what the draw is, it’s the same as last year, so we know who we are facing,” Graham said. “We looked at film from last year, and we know they have some dangerous players. It’s important that we know where they are at all times. But we feel like if we press them a little bit we should be create some opportunities.”

Making its eighth straight appearance in the state tournament Greeneville has been untouchable in the postseason, winning the District 1-AA and Region 1-AA titles. In their five postseason games the Lady Devils have outscored their opponents 35-3.

The Lady Devils’ offense has been able to challenge defenses from all over the field with Anna Shaw, Annemarie Konieczny, Tanna Bookhamer and Kendyl Foshie constantly keeping opponents off balance. Konieczny in particular has taken her game to a new level in the postseason and fired 13 goals into the back of the net over the last five games.

“Our kids are just being unselfish, and some of our players who have been really good goal scorers are figuring out how to create opportunities for other people,” Graham said. “They are drawing the defense and dishing to other people, and those girls have been finishing goals. If we keep doing that at the state tournament good things can happen.”

On defense Greeneville had to replace a keeper and three starters from last year, but the new crew of Molly Hartman, Chloe Treadway, Allie Renner and Kylee DeWald to go with the sure-handed Lilly Evatt in goal have come together to become quite the stopping force on the back end. Against Class AA teams Greeneville has allowed eight goals in 10 games this season.

“Defense is just communication,” Graham said. “The back four have come together so well this year after losing our keeper and three backs. The chemistry is just phenomenal right now, not just with them but with the midfield, and they are seeing the passing lanes so well.”

On the same side of the bracket as Greeneville and Dyersburg are Page (20-0-2) and Livingston Academy (19-1). Page is the defending Class AA State Champion and eliminated the Lady Devils a year ago in the state semifinals.

On the other side of the bracket South Gibson (12-6-1) will play East Hamilton (13-4-1) and Seymour (14-3-3) will play Murfreesboro Central (16-6).

Continue Reading