Cumberland Gap bid for state championship comes up short

Published 5:28 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

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Claiborne County Sports Zone

Merrol Hyde scored midway through the first half and kept the pressure on in a 4-0 win over Cumberland Gap on Saturday in the Class A girls soccer state championship match.

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The defending state champs scored their first goal off the foot of Reagan Hudson with 22:44 left in the first half.

The next 17 minutes of game action remained scoreless for both teams before Merrol Hyde again found the goal to take a 2-0 lead over Cumberland Gap on a goal by Gianna Cruz with 3:24 left in the first half.

Hudson found the goal again for Merrol Hyde 15 minutes into the second half. Sydney Rewa closed the scoring with Merrol Hyde’s fourth goal with 23:47 left in the game.

Cumberland Gap’s path to the State Championship Game was not an easy one. After wrapping up their regular season the Panthers took on Oneida in the District Championship game and won 6-0. The Panthers then moved on and face Polk County in the Regional Semifinals where they won 9-1. Next up was Loudon County in the Regional Championship game and Cumberland Gap prevailed 3-0. University High then rolled into Cumberland Gap for the State Sectionals and The Panthers again reeled off another victory by a score of 5-2 to secure a spot in the state tournament.

Once Cumberland Gap arrived in Chattanooga for the state tournament they first matched up with Madison Magnet in the quarterfinals who The Panthers beat 3-1. Cumberland Gap faced Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) in the semifinal round of the state tournament and again prevailed by a score of 3-0 and locked up their spot in the state championship game.