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Monday, May 2, 2016

Keller records three goals, leads Dyersburg to fourth straight Region 7 A-AA title

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Members of the 2012 Region 7 A-AA soccer champion Dyersburg squad remind everyone that Tuesday's victory marked the fourth straight season the program has won the region tourney title hardware.
When Dyersburg and Westview earned berths in the championship game of the Region 7 A-AA tournament held at the DMS Soccer Complex, there was no doubt the best two teams had made it to the finale.

When Lady Trojan senior Katherine Keller sealed the 3-2 victory on a penalty kick with 2:35 remaining in the second overtime, there was no doubt the best team won.

The final goal of the night, Keller's third of the game, marked the fourth straight year Dyersburg defeated Westview to win the region tournament. The end result was one that left first-year coach Lisa Clifft nearly speechless afterwards.

DHS players earning All-Region tournament honors were, (l-r) Katherine Keller, Maricela Leon, Sadie Liljenquist, Marielle Echavez, Olivia Jones
"This is just fantastic and I don't know if it can get any better," said an emotional Clifft. "The entire team deserves this because we are a young team that just refused to give up all season and even more so tonight. The girls were just amazing and this feels great."

While it took a total team effort to edge past a talented Westview squad, Dyersburg's Keller was stellar from start to finish when her teammates needed her most.

After battling to a 0-0 deadlock through the first two quarters of the physical, tension-filled contest, Westview's Alexus Taylor scored 14 minutes into the second half to break the tie. Trailing 1-0, the Lady Trojans went to their captain to answer the goal.

Following the championship match against Westview, Dyersburg's Amanda Sanchez was named Defensive Player of the Year, while Lady Trojan coach Lisa Clifft was named Co-Coach of the Year as well as Region 7 A-AA Tournament Coach of the Year.
The senior did just that a little over two minutes later. Off a corner kick from teammate Rachel Clifft, Keller stayed calm in the box and fired a shot toward the goal. The result was a quick strike that knotted the game at 1-1 much to the delight of the large crowd of supporters on hand for the contest.

Just under two minutes later, Keller gave the Lady Trojans an apparent lead with her second goal of the game. A late whistle however negated the goal as Keller was whistled for being offsides, much to the dismay of the same crowd cheering rather loudly minutes earlier.

The Lady Chargers went back on top with 26 minutes left in regulation when Kayla Guthrie scored. Proving what you can do we can do better, Dyersburg answered the goal with 12:54 to play in the second half when Keller sent a laser past the keeper to knot the score at 2-2.

The 2-2 deadlocked lasted the remainder of the second half as well as throughout the first overtime periods, which consisted of two 10-minute frames.

In the second overtime, consisting of two 5-minute goal-on-goal periods, Keller was leveled while in the box, a move that resulted in a penalty kick.

Just as she had been the entire championship match, Keller remained calm and executed the kick with precision. The kick got past the outstretched arms of Westview keeper Mackenzie Vincent as the entire Dyersburg team as well as coaches erupted and rushed the field to celebrate the fourth straight Region 7 A-AA title.

"This is amazing but we're not done yet. We've still got another to go to reach another goal and reach the state tournament," added Clifft. "But we're going to celebrate this one tonight because it feels good."

With the win, the Lady Trojans will face Liberty on Saturday at DMS. The time for the sectional contest is yet to be determined.

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