Sierra Franz provided the offense Monday afternoon.
The Smyrna defense did the rest.
Franz, a sophomore, scored all four goals for the Lady Bulldogs in a 4-1 rout of Riverdale in the District 7-AAA quarterfinals. Franz scored twice in each half. Three of the four goals came off assists from senior midfielder Holly Vetter.
“I just knew that they weren’t going to catch up with us,” Franz said of her second-half surge. “I was going to put it away.”
Smyrna (10-5-2) advanced to the District 7-AAA semifinals, where the Lady Bulldogs will play regular-season district champion Siegel (9-3-3) at 6 p.m. today at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Semifinal winners advance to Thursday’s championship and clinch a Region 4-AAA berth. Smyrna has lost in the 7-AAA semifinals the past two seasons. Siegel defeated Smyrna 2-0 in the regular season.
Riverdale, which lost to Smyrna 3-0 in the regular season, finished the year 3-9.
“It’s an honor, especially as a senior (to get to the semifinals),” Vetter said. “We’ve gotten to the second round several times. I feel like with this team, we’ve got some good freshmen that have stepped up.
“I feel like over the last couple of games we’ve really come together as a team.”
Smyrna led 2-0 at halftime before Riverdale’s Ashton Fogle cut the deficit in half with a goal in the 36th minute on goalkeeper Haley Munn. It lifted the Lady Warriors momentarily.
“We knew from the beginning that (Riverdale) would play hard the whole game,” Smyrna coach Brian Grogan said. “They’ve got some quality players. We just had to stick our game plan, work hard and finish strong.”
But Franz put the game away. Franz, who has 22 goals for the season, rifled in a goal to push it to 3-1 in the 56th minute off a pass from Vetter. Vetter then got the ball to Franz 10 minutes later. Franz then lofted a shot over the Riverdale goalkeeper into the back of the net to put the game away.
“We started off last year I’d hit her those through balls,” said Vetter, who has 18 assists for the season. “We picked up this year where we left off. It’s really great that she has speed to get to my balls, even though I sometimes misplace them.
“It’s nice that she can get to the end of them and work through it.”
Franz scored in the 14th minute off a quick strike off a pass from teammate Kristen Wattenbarger. Franz added her second in the 37th minute to give the Lady Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
Blackman 3, La Vergne 0: The Lady Blaze collected their 10th shutout of the year to advance to the District 7-AAA semifinals. Blackman (12-3-2) plays second-seed Oakland (8-5-3) at 8 p.m. today following the Siegel-Smyrna semifinal. Blackman defeated Oakland 1-0 this past week.
Colleen Kennedy, Meghan Woods and Courtney Guile all scored for the Lady Blaze, who had defeated La Vergne (4-9-2) 2-0 in the regular season. Hannah Bieze and Meghan Woods had assists. La Vergne goalkeeper Emily Dillon had 13 saves.