Missed penalty kick, red card too much for Tribe to overcome versus ’Toppers

Pat Kenney • May 9, 2019 at 10:29 PM

KINGSPORT — Ethan DiSantis’ goal in the 89th minute sealed Science Hill’s 3-2 overtime win against Dobyns-Bennett in the District 1-AAA boys soccer final at Indian Highland Park on Thursday.

“That goal was similar to the goal we scored to beat them here in the regular season,” said DiSantis. “It was a counterattack. Dylan Sanchez got me a ball over the top. I was able to get a touch on it and stayed composed. When I saw my chance, I chipped the ball over the keeper and into the net.”

Science Hill (12-6-1) will host the District 2 runner-up next week in the Region 1-AAA semifinals while D-B (17-2-1) must travel to the District 2 champs.

The Hilltoppers built a 2-0 lead in the first half on the strength of goals from DiSantis and Dan Good. It looked like smooth sailing for Science Hill as the halftime horn sounded.

However, D-B refused to go quietly. Jack Perry got the Tribe on the board in the 56th minute with a laser shot from just off the penalty area. Will Arrowood tied the contest 11 minutes later on a sensational shot from the right corner that hit the net just inside the post.

“We knew that D-B was too good to not put up a fight,” said DiSantis. “I thought we did a good job of bouncing back after they tied the game.”

The Tribe was awarded a penalty kick in the 69th minute, but Science Hill goalkeeper Chris Casey made a diving save and the rebound was kicked over the crossbar.

Six minutes later, D-B had a defender sent off with a red card because of a flagrant foul.

Although the Tribe fought hard to overcome playing a man down, the Hilltoppers defense, led by Patrick Brown, Griffin Kirby and Joaquin Subijana, proved to be too big a hurdle to overcome. The Hilltoppers were able to exploit the gaps in the D-B midfield and back line, and that proved to be the difference.

“Early in the second half, we stopped doing the things that made us successful in the first half,” said Science Hill coach David Strickland. “I really think that was more about what D-B did. They really came out with more intensity in that second half.

“D-B missing the penalty kick and having a player sent off changed everything,” added Strickland. “Games like this are about moments, and we were able to capitalize on those moments tonight.”