CUMBERLAND GAP — Oneida wanted another shot at Cumberland Gap. The Lady Indians got it, and made the most of it, with a 2-1 win over the disdained Panthers for the District 3-A championship.
Macy Dunlap, less than a week removed from being snubbed as District 3’s offensive player of the year despite scoring 20 goals this season, scored twice for the Lady Indians to provide the winning edge.
“The kids earned a great win and I am happy for them,” Oneida head coach Phil Newport said.
The win came on the same field where Oneida felt robbed two weeks earlier. In the regular season meeting between the two schools, Cumberland Gap scored the game’s only goal on a penalty kick in the final minute. Newport didn’t withhold his feelings after that earlier game, clearly feeling that the game’s officials had helped determine the outcome.
In Thursday’s rematch, Newport was feeling a bit of deja vu.
“I really thought we were going to get a bad shake again,” he said.
The Panthers’ only goal came on a play on which the scorer appeared to be well offsides.
“Things were more than chippy,” Newport said. “I may have a kid with a broken arm, one with a chipped tooth and Alea (Jones, the team’s goalkeeper) was down eight minutes after getting her head grazed by a player’s cleat. We made the best of a situation that the refs never cleaned up.”
Thursday’s game followed a 2-0 win over Oliver Springs in the district semifinals. Dunlap also scored both goals in that game, while Jones pitched her sixth shutout of the season. Though the score was close, the Bobcats had just five shots on goal.
The win at Cumberland Gap meant that Oneida was to have played Tuesday’s Region 2-A semifinal — an elimination game against Greenback — at home. And if the Lady Indians were to win on Tuesday and find themselves facing Cumberland Gap again, the third meeting between the two rivals will also be at Oneida tonight (Thursday).