The final seeding for the top four spots in District 5-AAA soccer came down to the results of the Ooltewah-East Hamilton game Tuesday evening.
Cleveland, whose only district loss came to East Hamilton this season, needed the Owls to come out on top of the Hurricanes in order to claim the first seed. If East Hamilton were to have won, the Raiders would’ve been bumped to second seed.
Luckily for Cleveland, Ooltewah came away with a 3-2 victory over East Hamilton, solidifying the Raiders’ first place finish in the district and earning them a bye for the 5-AAA quarterfinals on Saturday.
The district seeding is as follows;
1. Cleveland (11-3-3, 5-1)
2. Ooltewah (11-2-3, 5-1)
3. McMinn County (6-6-1, 4-2)
4. East Hamilton (6-7-2, 4-2)
5. Bradley Central (8-4-3, 2-4)
6. Walker Valley (2-8-0, 1-5)
7. Soddy-Daisy (2-11-1, 0-6)
Six teams will go head-to-head on Saturday, with Ooltewah hosting Soddy-Daisy and Bradley Central traveling to East Hamilton for 11 a.m. games, while Walker Valley will head north to McMinn County for a 7 p.m. game.
On April 3, the Owls handed a struggling Trojans team a 4-0 loss.
Bradley Central’s worst game, according to head coach Tucker Blackmon, was a 2-0 loss to East Hamilton on April 22.
Last season the Bears were 6-9 overall, and went winless in the district. This year has portrayed a different story for Bradley, which has not given up more than two goals in a game this season.
The only game in which the Bears were held scoreless came against the Hurricanes, and the improved Bradley team is averaging 2.5 goals a game for 2014.
When the Mustangs were last in Athens on April 22, they were dealt a 4-0 loss by the Cherokees.
The 2014 season proved difficult for a young Walker Valley team, which struggled offensively in the regular season and was held scoreless in six games, while giving up an average of 3.1 goals per game.
The Raiders will host the winner of the Bradley-East Hamilton game in the district semifinals on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Cleveland averaged 2.6 goals a game this season, and only had an average of 1.4 goals given up.
According to coach John Brose, the Raiders’ 4-1 loss to the Hurricanes was their worst-played game of the season.
Last year Cleveland became the District 5-AAA champs by defeating Soddy-Daisy 3-2, but were then dealt a 2-0 loss by Coffee County in the region semifinals.
Before the Raiders can begin what they hope will be an extended postseason, they must first take on a behemoth of a challenge in the form of the Signal Mountain Eagles.
The Eagles are undefeated this season, and tied with Southeast Whitfield 0-all.
Signal Mountain has only been scored on in five games this year, has recorded eight shutouts and is averaging more than 4 goals per game.
The Raiders will battle the Eagles at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex at 7 p.m. tonight.