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Oliver’s Twist

Former Lady Rebel, daughter bookend program from start to state
Maryville freshman Grace Oliver settles the ball in front of goal during the match with Girls Preparatory School this season. Oliver and mom, Sara Harris Oliver, encompass Lady Rebel soccer from its beginnings to its historic state tournament berth won Sunday in Johnson City. Photo by Wallace Bowden

Editor’s note: This story, first published three years ago, highlights the playing career of former Maryville Lady Rebel Sara Harris Oliver, focusing on a legendary match with Science Hill her senior season in 1995. Twenty years later, Oliver’s daughter, Grace, started in midfield on Sunday as Maryville defeated Science Hill, 1-0, in a sectional championship match to earn the program’s first state tournament berth. 

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Sara Harris Oliver and husband, Chance, attend a Maryville High match with daughters Emma, Kennedy and Grace three years ago. Photo by Jenifer Clark

Statistically, the 1995 Maryville High Lady Rebels were no match for Science Hill in a regional semifinal.

The Lady Hilltoppers were one of the state’s top-ranked teams. Two Science Hill players would go on to play at Division I colleges, one them already signed.

Maryville was in only its second season as a program and directed by a first-year coach.

For Sara Harris Oliver, none of that mattered. It would lead to arguably the greatest high school soccer match Blount County has ever seen.

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