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The Maryville/Science Hill Thing

Lady Rebels, Hilltoppers soccer rivalry approaching storied status

Sara Harris Oliver watches as the Maryville girls soccer team goes through drills prior to a scrimmage earlier this fall. Oliver, whose daughter, Grace, is a junior forward with the Lady Rebels, played a pivotal role in launching one of the state’s best soccer rivalries 20 years ago. Maryville and Science Hill played to a 1-1 draw in the latest edition on Tuesday at John Sevier. Photos by Wallace Bowden

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

It reigns supreme as the best girls match Blount County high school soccer has ever seen.

In an upset for the ages, Maryville, in only its second year as a program, knocked off Science Hill in a 0-0 (5-4 PK) thriller in a 1995 regional semifinal that involved beginning the match at Maryville College in the early evening, finishing four hours later at the high school.

You can read more about it here.

Last season, one of the stars of that game, Sara Harris Oliver, watched as her daughter, Grace, pumped in a hat trick as the Lady Rebels shut out the Lady Hilltoppers, 5-0, in a sectional final to return to state.

(Editor: The rivalry between the two schools was surely helped along when the Maryville boys basketball upset Science Hill — at Science Hill — in a 2007 sectional en route to the school’s lone hoops title.)

The latest installment in the soccer series played to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday, Maryville junior Emma Rice pulling the Lady Rebels even on a goal with less than three minutes remaining.

Photographer Wallace Bowden captured the action for us. Enjoy the photos.

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