Cyclones can’t keep pace with Devils

Published 9:07 am Monday, May 13, 2019

GREENEVILLE – The two-time defending state champion boys’ soccer team looks poised to make another deep run in the TSSAA playoffs.

The Greeneville Greene Devils (9-3-2) posted a 4-nil victory over the Elizabethton Cyclones on Thursday night at Burley Stadium to take the District 1-AA championship.

EHS (11-3-1) has had a marvelous season and they may end up back in Burley Stadium for the sub-state if they can take care of business on the road in the regional round of play.

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“Whoever we play next, I’m pretty sure they aren’t as good as Greeneville,” Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. “It looks like either Sevier County or Pigeon Forge, but I don’t really know yet.

“They really hadn’t threatened the goal in a meaningful way in the first 15 minutes or so. Our goal was 20 and we had three shots on goal. Then we made a mistake and we talked about it. On the second one they got in behind us and I don’t think we recovered quickly enough.”

The Cyclones held Greeneville scoreless for 18 minutes before senior forward T.J. Elyse-Vital struck a shot past EHS junior goalkeeper Noah Lambert for a 1-nil Devils lead.

The goal came as a failure to clear the ball from the Cyclone box as Lambert shanked his punt and Greeneville was able to quickly get the ball in the box to Elyse-Vital from where he beat his defender with a spin move and beat Lambert from point blank range.

The Devils second goal resembled the first as they took possession inside the midfield stripe and went with a pass outside the numbers to Malachi Ashley who dribbled to a spot just inside the box and spotted A.J. McGill making a run down the center of the field.

He fired a back-footed pass to McGill who finished with a top shelf goal in minute 35 of the first half and staked Greeneville to a 2-nil advantage.

“We talked about possessing the ball more in the second half, which we did,” McClay said. “We got 28 minutes into the second half without giving them anything.

“There was only 12 minutes left in the match when they got their third. Possessing the ball allowed us to calm down and also to possess the ball means that when we lose it, we are in a better position to defend.”

Things kind of dissolved on EHS in those final 12 minutes as yellow cards began to fly for unsportsmanlike play and trash talking. EHS got one of those cards while Greeneville got three altogether in the match.

Elyse-Vital scored in the 68th minute with an assist from Ashley and Devin Elyse-Vital put back a rebound of a shot by Garrin Shuffler in the 73rd minute for the final tally.

Devin Elyse-Vital then got into a verbal altercation with some EHS fans and was shown a yellow card and sat out the final seven minutes of the match.

District 1-AA

Boys Soccer championship

Greeneville 4-0

Elizabethton 0 0 – 0

Greeneville                  2 2 – 4

Scoring Summary

First Half

G – T.J. Elyse-Vital (unassisted) 18:00

G – McGill (assist Ashley)

Second Half

G – T.J. Elyse-Vital (assist Ashley) 68:00

G – D. Elyse-Vital (assist Shuffler) 73:00