MURFREESBORO – Fairview reached the Class AA state soccer semifinals for the second season, but the Yellow Jackets were denied the program’s first championship berth by falling 2-0 to Greeneville Wednesday at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
The Greene Devils, the two-time defending champions, spoiled the Yellow Jackets title hopes in Fairview’s second trip ever to the state tournament.
“I was proud of them, they gave 100 percent and that’s all I could ask of them,” said Yellow Jackets coach Shane Smith. “I told the team after this game that I loved all of them win or lose and that I’m proud of the men they are becoming.”
Fairview used its superior speed to swarm any Greeneville player that got their foot on the ball. The Greene Devils responded with brute force and imposed their will in an effort to win the ball on every matchup. It was a war of attrition and it all came down to who would make the first mistake.
Fairview blinked first in the 60th minute. The Greene Devils Jean-Pierre Elyze-Vital broke loose from the Yellow Jacket’s backline and rocketed the ball past keeper Max Cole-Staley for the first score of the game. After a full hour of play, Greeneville broke the stalemate and took a 1-0 lead.
Twelve minutes later Devin Elyze-Vital scored on a one-on-one matchup against Fairview’s Cole King, making the score 2-0.
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The Yellow Jackets never gave up in the final eight minutes and recorded three shots on goal in an effort to pull even, but it was Greeneville’s goalie, Colby Freeman, who ultimately ended the Yellow Jackets postseason run.
“I couldn’t be happier with how these boys played today,” said Greeneville head coach Jerry Graham. “We played against a very talented and well coached Fairview team, it could have gone either way.”
Fairview ended the game with eight shots. Cole-Staley made eight saves.
The Yellow Jackets leading scorer Brandon Parrish was quick to turn his attention toward the future.
“This program has been unbelievable these past two years and were only going to get better,” he said. “We can keep pushing and I know that we can come back harder and better next year. We’re getting a state ring next year.”
Greeneville will play Sevier County for the state title Friday. Sevier County advanced with a 5-1 win over Dyersburg in the other semifinal.