Ever since the season started with a loss to Shelbyville, the WCMS soccer team was awaiting a chance at a rematch against its main rival.
The Pioneers will always have to wait.
Warren County lost in the semifinals Saturday in the Central Tennessee Conference tournament to Tullahoma 1-0, ending a streak of five straight tournament titles.
“I feel horrible for my guys,” said WCMS coach Ario Zadeh. “They deserved this win. I don’t think there was anything we could have done different. It was just one of those games.”
Tullahoma scored the difference maker in the second half, taking the ball down the end line and playing it toward the net. On a windy afternoon in Tullahoma, the ball took a turn toward the goal, just eluding the grasp of Pioneer keeper Brodie Cowans.
“It was a fluke shot. It was windy and the ball got caught in it and shifted,” said Zadeh.
Warren County had multiple chances to tie the game, but it seemed like a force field had been placed in front of the Tullahoma goal. The Pioneers narrowly missed from deep, sending shots left, right and over the bar on several occasions. Warren County also had shots right on the doorstep, but missed from just a couple feet in front of the net.
The discouraging final minutes were only compounded when Tullahoma went on to fall to Shelbyville 8-0 in the finals. It was a gut-check time for the Pioneers and their first-year coach.
“I feel like I let them down. There were a lot of tears and disappointment because we had such high expectations for each other,” said Zadeh.
Despite the devastating defeat, the Pioneers were able to regroup and dominate the consolation game. Behind a hat trick from Joan Garcia, Warren County won 7-2 over Franklin South.
Edgar Villegas, Cooper Bailey, Jordan Ramirez and Uriah King all had one goal each while helping the Pioneers claim third in the tournament.
While it wasn’t the game they hoped to play in, coach Zadeh was proud to see the Pioneers end the season with another victory.
“I’m very proud of them. They could’ve laid down after the first loss and gave up, but they really put it on them,” said Zadeh.
The Pioneers finished the season with an 8-3-1 record.