The Brentwood High soccer team was well aware of Glencliff’s prolific goal-scoring ability prior to Tuesday’s Region 6-AAA semifinal.
In fact, so much so that even Bruins coach Mike Purcell was surprised by the final score.
“I never thought it’d be 1-0 against them late in the game,” Purcell said following his squad’s 2-0 win over host Glencliff. “The second goal was just icing on the cake. Our guys played well and showed a lot of composure coming in here. I know Glencliff didn’t expect us to be that good defensively.”
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Brentwood secured a sectional berth, as well as a spot in the Region 6-AAA title game. The Bruins will face Ravenwood, a 6-5 winner over Antioch on Tuesday on penalty kicks. It will mark the third time the two crosstown rivals have squared off in three weeks.
Between their lopsided size advantage, as well as consistently employing an effective offside trap, the Bruins (12-3-2), who claimed a first-half edge on Avery Cowan’s 30th-minute penalty kick, kept the Colts off-balance throughout Tuesday’s back-and-forth contest.
“The (penalty kick) really set us behind early, but I think what hurt us even more was just the offside calls,” Glencliff coach Corey Staggs said. “It was a huge number in the first half, and I think it really took us out of our game.
“I think we did better (in the second half), but like I told the guys at halftime, you develop a reputation.”
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Offside calls continued to plague the Colts in the second half, but Glencliff (15-2) still managed to manufacture a handful of scoring opportunities in the final 40 minutes.
“They had very skilled players, especially in the middle of the field who were able to control it,” said Cowan, mainly referring to standout Glencliff senior Marcos Cruz. “I think we were a bigger team, and our size was a difference.”
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The Bruins put the game away on senior Jackson Deming’s 80th-minute score, which came off a deflected free kick from Cowan.
“It’s tough on the guys,” Staggs said. “We had higher aspirations than just a district title.”
Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.