Cumberland County Soccer Falls to Signal Mountain in Class 2A Sectional, 2-1

By Michael Lindsay


The Cumberland County Jets wrapped up their 2023 season Saturday afternoon one win shy of the state tournament as they fell in a rain-soaked Class 2A sectional matchup at Signal Mountain, 2-1.

The Jets finish their season at 11-5-1 overall, winners of the District 6/AA championship and runners-up in the Region 3/AA tournament before falling in Saturday’s sectional to Signal Mountain, who has qualified for the state tournament in 4 of the past 5 seasons.

They’ve got a lot of tradition and history here, and they’ve won 17 games now this season,” said Cumberland County head coach Cub Whitson. “They’re a really good program, and we wanted to come out and not be intimidated. I feel like we did a good job of that; we played with a lot of energy and heart.”

Signal Mountain struck first as the Eagles scored 10:47 into the first half to take a 1-0 lead.

Cumberland County answered with 6:59 remaining in the opening half as the Jets drew a foul in the box, setting up a Gabriel Alva penalty kick for a goal to tie the game at 1 entering halftime.

After a scoreless 22 minutes to start the second half, Signal Mountain broke through the Jet defense for a goal with 18 minutes remaining to take a 2-1 advantage.

Cumberland County would get multiple looks in the final minutes, but none would find their way into the net as Signal Mountain held on for the 2-1 victory.

“Just a little unlucky there at the end,” Whitson said. “I felt like we definitely played good enough to get a win. The momentum swung back and forth a few times; it was a good game. The second goal for them came from a dangerous area, but was just unlucky for us.”

Saturday was the final game in a Jet uniform for seniors Akram Amara, Ian Matais, Miguel Lopez, Wyatt Davis, Thomas Baker, Dominic Olsen, Josh Sliger and Joseph Baker.

“Work ethic is a big part of it,” Whitson said. “You can ask a lot of your guys, but if they’re working their tails off for you and leaving it all on the field then that’s the only thing that matters at the end of the day. They’re good kids; it’s like getting punched in the stomach. You don’t want to let go of these moments.”

Cumberland County’s senior class won 2 district championships, 2 region titles and made 3 consecutive Class 2A sectional appearances in 3 seasons (their freshman season was canceled due to COVID-19).

“There’s a lot of teams that would love to be in our situation and have the success we have,” Whitson added. “There’s a lot of teams that are okay with winning a particular game throughout the year or just to get to the next round. Sometimes we might take for granted that we’ve done that for several years now.”


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