Smith makes soccer history

-A A +A
By Chris Cannon



KNOXVILLE—Michaela Smith made history for Campbell County High School last Thursday night, as she scored the first-ever soccer goal in the school’s 38-year history.
In its inaugural game, the program chose a tough one, as they traveled to Catholic High School.
During the second half, Smith bolted for the goal, finding the back of the net during the 3-2 loss.
“My dad said that when I scored the first one, it looked like we’d just won the World Series or something,” Smith said with a huge smile. “After the second one, I was just like, ‘I just made history. People are going to remember me.’ It was such a blessing.”
Head coach Shane Wolfenbarger felt the same excitement.
Seeing the ball hit the back of the net was a relief.
“I started jumping up and down, and they were jumping,” he said. “I think I pulled a muscle in my leg. I said, ‘I feel like I’ve just won the Super Bowl.’ When we scored another goal, I was even more ecstatic. We shut them out the second half, and they kept the same players in there. We adjusted.”
However, the first half left him with doubts.
The day had been a rush, and it was only beginning.
“Everybody was nervous,” he said. “We had to stop on the interstate on the way down to pick our uniforms up. We get to Catholic High School, playing on a turf field for our very first game, and the tradition and the look of the campus, I felt very outclassed at the time.
“After halftime, we were down 3-0, and I thought, ‘This is gonna be terrible.’”
However, according to Smith, the team had something to prove.
Holding a championship-caliber team such as Catholic to only three goals, while netting two of their own, the Lady Cougars felt accomplished.
Smith said her team proved itself on Thursday.
“Our team’s come really far since day one,” she said. “Going up against Catholic, a lot of people doubted us and thought we were going to get annihilated in it. I think we made people hush by coming out of there with a 3-2 loss. We still lost, but it wasn’t that big of a blowout like everybody thought it was going to be.”
According to Wolfenbarger, he couldn’t have been happier for his squad.
With the team only being together for a little more than five weeks, he seen them gel.
The score on Thursday just proved his point.
“I actually took a picture of the scoreboard,” he said. “I told my wife that night, ‘Is it weird for me to be laying here not able to sleep, and we lost.’ It was what they consider their JV squad, but their a state-championship contender every year. Considering we’ve been together four of five weeks, some of [Catholic]’s girls have been playing together their entire life, our chemistry is there.”
Campbell County’s halftime adjustments paid off, as Catholic played their defense tight on the Lady Cougars.
Wolfenbarger told his team it would be their weakness.
“At halftime, we talked to our girls about how they were playing their defense so far up on us, and we just booted it over everybody’s head,” he said. “Michaela, she’s so fast, she just out ran everybody. They couldn’t stop her.”
Wolfenbarger challenged the girls before the game to be the person whom scored the first goal.
He said Smith took it upon her shoulders and ran with it.
“I was super proud of her,” Wolfenbarger said. “Michaela just happened to have the burst of speed, and she got the first goal.”
Campbell County travels to Oneida tonight, Thursday, Aug. 23.
Smith will look to add to her all-time leading scorer status, but she said she can only accomplish it the same way she did on Thursday.
“I couldn’t have done it without God,” she said. “He helped me through it all. If you ask him, he’ll just provide for you.”