Soccer: Page thrives in memorable homecoming debut | Sports

FRANKLIN – Everything for the Page High School Homecoming went as planned this week. The school just switched which football was featured, highlighting the soccer pitch rather than the gridiron.

The Page girls soccer team did their part, coming away with a 1-0 non-conference win against visiting Centennial just a day removed from locking up the District 11-AA regular season title.

Just like nearly all Homecoming Fridays, the high school band provided plenty of entertainment, the home stands were packed and a rowdy student section provided a match-long dance party. A blown speaker in the second half didn’t stop the party either.

Soccer – Centennial at Page

Soccer – Centennial at Page

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Lilli Schmittou of Centennial tries to control the ball in front of the Lady Cougars goal as McKenzie Graham of Page pressures. The Lady Patriots claimed a 1-0 win Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 as the main attraction for the school’s Homecoming celebration. 

See MATCH IMAGES for full photo gallery from the contest and HOMECOMING for a separate gallery featuring the band and Homecoming court. 

Soccer – Centennial at Page

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Ayden Weinstein and Gabrielle Boulay 

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Jules Garrison of Centennial is tended to by Page’s Kate Nelson after a collision. 

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Soccer – Centennial at Page

Jules Garrison of Centennial is helped off the field by Page’s Kate Nelson and coach MaryLynn Williams. The two are club soccer teammates. 



Soccer – Centennial at Page

Soccer – Centennial at Page



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Lilli Schmittou of Centennial tries to control the ball in front of the Lady Cougars goal as McKenzie Graham of Page pressures. The Lady Patriots claimed a 1-0 win Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 as the main attraction for the school’s Homecoming celebration. 

See MATCH IMAGES for full photo gallery from the contest and HOMECOMING for a separate gallery featuring the band and Homecoming court. 



Soccer – Centennial at Page

Soccer – Centennial at Page



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Soccer – Centennial at Page .



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Ayden Weinstein and Gabrielle Boulay 



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Jules Garrison of Centennial is tended to by Page’s Kate Nelson after a collision. 



Soccer – Centennial at Page

Soccer – Centennial at Page

Jules Garrison of Centennial is helped off the field by Page’s Kate Nelson and coach MaryLynn Williams. The two are club soccer teammates. 

“It feels amazing and this environment was just so special to be a part of,” said Lady Patriots sophomore Anna Baker, who scored the lone goal of the match in the 26th minute. “It was chaotic because you couldn’t hear anything no matter how loud you tried to be, so that made it crazy but you just tried to stay focused and then you were dancing to the music, too.

“It was awesome. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Just amazing.”

The Page football team was forced to cancel this week’s game because COVID-19 protocols involving their scheduled opponent Giles County. Football coach Charles Rathbone – who shares a player with the soccer team in kicker Ayden Weinstein – reached out to soccer coach Nate Clapp about the potential switch earlier this week and after emailing dozens of schools, Centennial stepped up as a fresh opponent.

It made the rare Friday soccer matchup even more fitting since many of the players on the field from the two schools attended Page Middle School.

Page High School Homecoming 2021

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“It was a different experience than any other soccer game I’ve been a part of,” Lady Patriots coach Nate Clapp said after his team improved to 11-1-1 overall and won a fifth consecutive match. “We were stressing about using all the distractions tonight, like playing on back-to-back days, but we wanted to just enjoy it, too, while thinking how can we get better through it – it was win through the chaos and just a blast.”

Two of Clapp’s players – sisters Kaetlyn and Kyla Davis – were named to the Page Homecoming court. Kaetlyn, a junior, slipped away after the halftime festivities to trade in her sleek navy gown, sash and tiara for her Lady Patriots No. 26 jersey and cleats in the second half.

“I remember looking back and seeing her in her Homecoming dress and crown and I guess something clicked,” Clapp said. “She wanted to play and that just makes me smile.”

Clapp was grinning much of the night as the Lady Patriots controlled most of the match against an injury-riddled Centennial team. Both teams dipped deep into their benches to benefit from the experience of playing in front of the large crowd, which was loudest after Baker’s tally. 

Baker admitted she didn’t think her shot lobbed from beyond the corner of the box on the right sideline had enough to find the back of the net late in the first half. 

“I knew it had a lot of backspin and when it flipped off their keeper’s hands, I was just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and went crazy,” she said, crediting Gracie Segundo for flipping the ball back to her. “I swear it was going right into the keeper’s hands.”

Centennial’s Lilli Schmittou stopped everything else on the night, including three saves in the second half. Both Kate Nelson and Reagan Hamilton produced several shots on goal for Page, generating a rise from the buzzing Lady Patriot faithful each shot. The crowd made it almost impossible to hear on the field – a new element rarely experienced by either team. 

“It was just crazy, because I couldn’t even hear myself think,” Page keeper Gabby Rainey said. “It was insane and an experience I just don’t think I’ll ever have again.”

Rainey was playing in her first match after missing several weeks because of a knee injury. She admitted to feeling stressed late, especially after Centennial threatened over the final eight minutes. One of the shots Rainey endured came against longtime friend and former middle school teammate Jenna Drobny of Centennial.

The last time the two teams tangled in 2020, Drobny broke free for a one-on-one with Rainey and sent the Page keeper into concussion protocol with a rocketed shot.

“Oh yeah, she gave me a concussion, so I was feeling the PTSD of it,” Rainey said laughingly. “She’s just really good.”

“We joke about it now,” Drobny added. “I love Gabby.”

The Centennial junior closed the late surge with a long ball from the left to right that sailed just over Rainey in the 77th. Five minutes earlier, Kaitlyn Skrove lofted a ball over the defense from near the top of the box that spun off of Rainey’s out-stretched right hand, clanked off the cross bar and the left post before being gobbled up by Rainey.

“I seriously didn’t know where it went,” Rainey admitted. “I just tried to tip it out and it ended up hitting me from behind.”

Andie Kelley provided two other solid looks for Centennial, including a rebound attempt in the 47th saved by Rainey.

Drobny said her and her teammates expected a rowdy atmosphere, but it still turned out to be more than anticipated.

“Just from being at football games, we knew it would be crazy, but it was definitely more than we expected,” she said. “It was a lot of fun, though. I wish more people would come to all our games.”

Centennial (3–7-1) was coming off a 5-1 District 11-AAA loss against Franklin in a rivalry showdown Thursday night. The Lady Cougars close out the regular season against Dickson County and Battle Ground Academy next week.

Editor’s note: This story was adjusted to include comments from Centennial girls soccer coac…

Page, which defeated Murfreesboro Central in a matchup of unbeaten district teams Thursday, hosts Independence and Valor College Prep next week before the postseason.

“We are all just so thankful for this experience,” Clapp said. “It was an awesome night for these girls.”

Notes: Friday’s match was Page’s eighth shutout this season and fourth in a row … Centennial won the last meeting in 2020, 3-2 … Baker’s goal was her second of the season … Page has won at least 10 matches in each of the last seven seasons … PHS-TV live-streamed the match and commentators included JD Deckard, the founder of the Liverpool FC Murfreesboro fan club. “Once football was cancelled, we had to find commentators who knew soccer,” Clapp said. “It was perfect.”

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