By Michael Lindsay
80 minutes weren’t enough to determine a winner Tuesday evening as the Cumberland County Jets won in overtime at White County in District 6-2A action, 3-2.
“This was the first district game coming off a long weekend at the Smoky Mountain Cup, and I think it definitely showed,” said CCHS head coach Cub Whitson. “We’re still not quite back to full strength, and the legs got to us. We still could’ve played a bit better than we did.”
CCHS junior Gabriel Alva scored the game-winning goal in overtime on a penalty kick.
“Gabriel has been solid,” Whitson said. “He’s playing a role we didn’t intend, but due to a few injuries, he has to adapt. He’s owned it and is playing some awesome soccer right now.”
Tuesday’s game was a defensive showing in the first half as neither team scored through the first 40 minutes.
“White County was very ready and aggressive; props to them for throwing them off our game,” Whitson said.
Cumberland County broke through early in the second half as Dominic Olson scored from in front of the net off an assist from Alva to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.
The Jets used the same formula at the 14:11 mark as Olson again scored from the keeper’s box via an Alva assist to give CCHS a 2-0 advantage.
“We’ve been working with Dominic a lot,” Whitson said. “We’ve seen he’s been capable of this for a few years. He’s listening and adapting, and he got two good goals tonight.”
Fortune shined on White County less than 30 seconds later as an own-goal by Cumberland County put the Warriors on the board with 13:55 left. White County’s Christian Henderson was credited with the goal.
The Jets held their 2-1 lead until the 1:35 remaining mark when Henderson found the back of the net to tie the game at 2-2, forcing overtime.
With time winding down in the extra frame, Cumberland County drew a foul in the box to set up Alva’s game-winning penalty kick to give the Jets a 3-2 victory.
“Even when you don’t play your best, good teams find a way to win,” Whitson said. “The boys got the job done.”
Up next, Cumberland County is scheduled to compete in the Soddy Daisy Invitational this weekend while White County has a week off before hosting the Tammy “Pistol” Wilhite Cup March 31-April 1.