GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The boys soccer team at J.L. Mann (Greenville, S.C.) got what it wanted out of the Smoky Mountain Cup, but it took a late-match offensive surge.
J.L. Mann rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the final 13 minutes to tie Station Camp (Gallatin, Tenn.) 2-2 in the Sunday finale. J.L. Mann finished first in the Mount Guyout with a 2-0-1 record. Station Camp was second at 1-0-2.
"After Tuesday (an upset loss that ended J.L. Mann’s undefeated start), we needed to get back to basics and have success with that," J.L. Mann coach Brian Dender said. "We realized we have to work hard on both ends of the field, and when we do that, we can play with anybody. [Station Camp] put us on our back foot and we fought back. We got what we needed."
Station Camp, despite seeing a chance to win the division slip away with the result, completed a strong showing at the event with a sophomore-filled lineup, beating SIMA FAB 50-ranked Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.) and tying a second nationally ranked team in J.L. Mann. The only hiccup was a draw with Greeneville (Tenn.).
The Bison went ahead on a Chase Freeman goal, assisted by Atakelti Gebregzabher. Freeman then assisted Tyler Jessen's goal, which seemingly put Station Camp in control 2-0 in the second half.
In other key matches Sunday, Christ Church Episcopal (Greenville, S.C.) edged Boyd-Buchanan School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) to take third place in the Mount LeConte Division, which was won by Father Ryan (Nashville, Tenn.).
F Drake Byrd, J.L. Mann (S.C.), Sr.: Byrd scored the first goal, a half-bicycle with his back to goal, to start J.L. Mann’s rally.
F Chase Freeman, Station Camp (Tenn.), Sr.: Speedy forward created problems for J.L. Mann, especially in the first half. He scored the first goal and assisted the second.
F Nathan Wilcox, Christ Church Episcopal (S.C.), Sr.: Wilcox scored on a header in the 66th minute, then converted free kicks in the 70th and 78th minutes as Christ Church defeated Boyd-Buchanan School 3-1.
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
Mount LeConte Division: 1. Father Ryan (Tenn.), 2. Murfreesboro Central Magnet (Tenn.), 3. Christ Church Episcopal (S.C.), 4. Boyd-Buchanan School (Tenn.), 5. Sevier County (Tenn.), 6. Lexington (Tenn.).
Mount Buckley Division: 1. Lausanne Collegiate (Tenn.), 2. Siegel (Tenn.), 3. Alcoa (Tenn.), 4. Pigeon Forge (Tenn.).
Mount Chapman Division: 1. Germantown (Tenn.), 2. Coffee County Central (Tenn.), 3. Mary Montgomery (Ala.), 4. Dickson County (Tenn.).
Mount Kephart Division: 1. South Doyle (Tenn.), 2. Smyrna (Tenn.), 3. Grace Christian Academy (Tenn.), 4. Loudon (Tenn.).
Mount Collins Division: 1. Seymour (Tenn.), 2. Campbell County (Tenn.), 3. Knoxville Ambassadors (Tenn.), 4. Chuckey-Doak (Tenn.), 5. Northview Academy (Tenn.), 6. Rockwood (Tenn.).
Mount Sequoyah Division: 1. Sullivan South (Tenn.), 2. Gatlinburg-Pittman (Tenn.), 3. The King's Academy (Tenn.), 4. Cumberland Gap (Tenn.), 5. Cosby (Tenn.).