The Beech High soccer team had hopes of fine-tuning things before beginning District 9-AAA play this week.
On Monday evening, the Buccaneers found that more adjustments could be necessary after suffering a 4-0 loss to the visiting Middle Tennessee Fire at Nathan Johnson Stadium.
The Fire scored all four goals in the second half, with senior David Sampson scoring the first two just 67 seconds apart.
“Breakdowns – and that’s what we’ve been preaching all the time – breakdowns defensively cost us goals,” Beech head coach Jeremy Cooke said. “Breakdowns on the attack don’t cost us goals. Unfortunately, when (breakdowns) happen, we’ve been getting punished for it, and we’ve just got to learn to correct those mistakes.”
Beech (1-2) saw its deficit swell to three goals when sophomore Alex Boger’s shot deflected in off of Buccaneer junior goalkeeper Dalton Hurst’s hands and into the net with 19:22 remaining.
“They were able to capitalize on every opportunity that they got,” Cooke said. “We didn’t. That was the difference in the game … but that’s the way it goes.”
Beech’s best opportunities came from senior Connor Starr. His free kick with 8:30 remaining in the first half deflected off a Fire defender and narrowly missed to the left side of the goal.
Starr also had a breakaway chance in the second half, but Fire sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Chandler broke up any scoring opportunity by laying out to block Starr’s shot just outside of the six-yard box.
“I was very happy with the amount of opportunities that we created,” Cooke said. “We just didn’t score on them.”
Freshman Paul Johnson had the other Fire goal with 6:40 remaining, connecting from 25 yards out on a shot into the upper, left corner of the net.
Beech is slated to begin district play on Thursday evening by hosting Wilson Central.
Cooke is hoping that Monday’s result triggers the necessary adjustments to be ready for 9-AAA competition.
“We’re about to start district play,” Cooke said. “We’ve got to get it fixed now.”
Reach Chris Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 615-575-7118. Follow him on Twitter @CB_SumnerSports.