Merrol Hyde soccer

Dane McBee pushes the ball forward for the Hawks attack. 

HENDERSONVILLE -- Taking control early and never looking back, the Merrol Hyde Hawks soccer team scored five first-half goals and cruised to a dominating 8-0 win over Smith County in the Region 4-A semifinals.

“I’m very happy with the way our boys played,” Merrol Hyde coach Daniel Brooks said. “I thought we possessed the ball well, and that’s what we were wanting to do heading into the game.

“We played with good composure tonight and moved the ball forward well. We obviously created a lot of chances, but we just stuck to the gameplan that we had coming into the game.”

Dane McBee carried the Hawks, scoring three goals to finish with a hat trick. His first two goals both came with under three minutes remaining in the first half, and he added his third seven minutes into the second half.

Shane Hencey scored the first goal for Merrol Hyde, eight minutes into the game. That was followed up minutes later with goals from Connor Flatt and Greg Leonard.

The Hawks further extended the lead later in the game with two goals from Jack Condra.

With the victory, Merrol Hyde clinches a spot in the state sectionals, and will travel to face Watertown on Thursday in the Region 4-A championship. The Hawks will be looking to defend their region title from a year ago after beating RePublic but ultimately falling to Chattanooga Arts & Sciences in the state sectionals.

“It’s very exciting,” Brooks. “I’m happy for the boys. They’ve been working hard all season, and hard work pays off. I’m excited for the challenge in this region championship. Hopefully we can defend it from last year.”

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