BRENTWOOD – Sarah Kate Rath has spent a couple nights staying with friends because her parents are out of town.
Those friends – Ella and Chloe Glover – happen to be her crosstown rivals on the soccer pitch, which made for an interesting few days leading up to a crucial District 11-AAA soccer match.
Rath and the Ravenwood High School girls soccer team posted a 2-0 win Thursday night at Brentwood against the Glover sisters and the rest of the Lady Bruins. The win also locked up the regular season district title for the two-time defending Class AAA champions.
“It’s been a lot of fun actually,” Rath said of the matchup. “We’ve grown up playing soccer together and we’ve always been big rivals, but at the same time, we’re just great friends so that makes it a lot of fun.”
Rath said players on both sides have been joking with one another all week. However, Ravenwood earned the last laugh and even clinched a rare three-sport sweep in the annual Battle of the Woods regular season fall showdown. The Ravenwood football team defeated Brentwood 21-16 in Week 5 on Friday, while the Lady Raptors volleyball team stunned Brentwood and snapped a 27-match losing streak against the Lady Bruins on Tuesday.
“This feels great, but there’s definitely been a lot of back and forth all week between all of us,” said Rath, whose corner midway through the first half led to the first Lady Raptor goal. “I know in the end we are happy for each other … and this is awesome for us as a team since it puts us first in the district.”
Rath launched a corner in the 23rd into a crowd that ended with the first goal. Ultimately, a flick into the back post netted the tally with Ally Brown and Kami Lobliner in on the play for Ravenwood and several Brentwood players in the mix as well on what very well could have been an own goal.
The two rivals traded decent looks at the end of the first half with Bella Macaso’s hard shot from the top of the box in the 37th ending with a bobbled save by Brentwood keeper Jewel Molina, while Emma Majors fired a high ball over the Ravenwood goal in the 39th.
Brentwood's Charlotte Lambright opened the second half with a shot from the top of the box in the 45th that was gobbled up by Ravenwood keeper Lexi Grundler.
“This is always such a great rivalry,” Brentwood coach Maggie McLaughlin said. “All these girls tend to play club together so we know each other so well.
“I thought it was back and forth all night and we both had several good scoring opportunities. The difference was, they put it in the goal.”
Ravenwood extended its lead to 2-0 after Macaso fired in a rebound in the 55th minute. The junior pounced on a shot that ricocheted off the left post after a shot from Ali Fletcher. Macaso spun and rocketed in the tally.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Lady Raptors added two more shots on goal, including a lofted deep shot from Gracie Hill in the 62nd stopped by Molina.
Brentwood countered in the 72nd and Emma Majors provided the best scoring opportunity of the second half for the home team. Majors launched a looping ball from about 30 yards out where Grundler had to time her jump perfectly to deflect the shot over the crossbar with one hand.
Ravenwood was coming off a scoreless draw against Franklin in a rematch of the 2020 state championship. Lady Raptors coach Jessica Mancini said her team remains focused on improving.
“We just want to keep getting better,” Mancini said. “We will probably have to play this team again, so we will watch some film and try to pick apart the things we can do better.”
Mancini said the Ravenwood girls controlled the midfield and tried to pressure the defense consistently by shooting as often as possible.
Rath said that approach worked Thursday.
“I’m proud of the team for working so hard and coming out on top,” Rath said. “We will keep practicing, working hard and just see what the future holds for us.”
When asked about her sleeping arrangements, Rath said she’ll probably be on the floor Thursday night.
"It's fine," she said with a laugh.
Ravenwood closes the regular season Tuesday at home against Rossview, while Brentwood faces both Hendersonville and Oakland next week.
In other District 11-AAA play Thursday, Franklin defeated Centennial 5-1.
In District 12-AAA, Nolensville clinched the regular season title by battling to a scoreless draw against Independence. Summit also posted a 12-AAA win Thursday, topping Columbia Central 6-0.