MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WATE) – The Austin-East Magnet High School Roadrunners are TSSAA Class A boys soccer state champions for the first time in school history after defeating Gatlinburg-Pittman 5-4 Friday in Murfreesboro.
The Highlanders opened the scoring within five minutes of kickoff before Austin-East quickly equalized. The Roadrunners took a 2-1 lead with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. The game went to extra time tied at 3 before both teams scored in extra time.
With both teams knotted at 4, Austin-East won the shootout 3-1.
The 2020-21 season was one full of firsts for Austin-East, beginning with a dramatic victory on penalty kicks over Gatlinburg-Pittman to claim their first ever District 2-A tournament championship.
After a dominant win in the Region 1-A semifinals, Austin-East claimed its first ever regional championship with another victory over Gatlinburg-Pittman.
Ahead of the Roadrunners’ trip to Murfreesboro for the state championships, the Knoxville community came together to raise thousands of dollars for food, transportation and lodging during the team’s four-day stay in Middle Tennessee.
Austin-East breezed through their Class A state quarterfinal, winning 8-0 over Gibson County. They punched their tickets to the state championship and another rematch with Gatlinburg-Pittman thanks to a 1-0 win over Merrol Hyde in the state semifinals.
The Roadrunners end their season on a historic high point following a difficult academic year that saw the Austin-East community experience several tragic instances of gun violence. After one of their final regular season opponents was set to cancel over safety concerns, Knox Pro Soccer and the University of Tennessee welcomed Austin-East at a sold-out Regal Stadium for a special senior night.