Christian Brothers 2, MBA 1
Christian Brothers got its revenge with a 2-1 shootout win over Montgomery Bell Academy to claim the Division II-AA soccer state title.
Christian Brothers lost to MBA 3-0 in last year’s final, but overcame a late own goal to turn the tables this season.
“Our boys gave it everything they had on the field and I’m extremely proud of the effort,” MBA coach Giles Cheevers said. “There’s really nothing else we could do. Penalties are a lottery. Sometimes it goes for you, sometimes it goes against you.”
CBHS didn’t take long to break the scoring open.
The Brothers took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute when senior midfielder Nick Buoni tipped a redirected ball past MBA senior keeper Zac Jernigan.
That 1-0 score held until there were just under five minutes remaining when MBA crowded the box, causing chaos and a defensive slip-up to tie the game on a CBHS own goal.
“I didn’t even know it was an own goal,” Cheevers said. “We just challenged and it flew in off one of their defenders. We were just putting pressure on our throw in and it broke for us.”
MBA had a couple of chances to win it, but the CBHS keeper came up with some clutch saves until his team was able to score the final penalty.
“So proud of this group of where we started and where we finished this season,” Cheevers said. “Heartbroken really for the kids. Penalties are tough, as a coach there’s nothing you can do.”
CPA 2, Central Magnet 1
Tom Gerlach and the CPA soccer team had to endure the ferocity of a familiar foe Wednesday night. Now, Gerlach and the Lions will play another foe they know quite well — with a milestone and a state championship on the line.
CPA freshman Baker Avinger scored midway through the second half as the Lions beat Central Magnet 2-1 at Siegel Soccer Park in a Class A-AA state semifinal.
CPA advanced to play Christian Academy of Knoxville in the state title game 4 p.m. Friday. Gerlach, before leading CPA to state titles the last two years, led CAK to six state titles.
“I know they’re going to be chomping at the bit,” said Gerlach, who celebrated his 200th victory. “The two teams that are in it deserve to be there.”
CPA (23-0-3) received a stiff test from Central, which ended its year 18-3-1. The Lions scored the only goal of the first half on Spencer Hagan’s goal, but the Tigers regrouped after a halftime that was extended by a lightning delay and tied the game on Cole Yoder’s goal in the 52nd minute.
Eight minutes later, Avinger scored and CPA hung on. It’s the third straight year CPA has beaten Central in the state tournament.
“It’s a confidence thing,” Central coach Ray Bennett said. “You look at a team that’s won the state, they’ve been here before and they keep rolling and rolling and rolling with it, and you’ve got to figure out how to stop it. That can be a roadblock, but we just kind of pushed that out and let that go and played passionate.”
– Dean Fox
Ravenwood 1, Houston 0
MURFREESBORO – After being knocked out of the Class AAA soccer state tournament by Houston three of the past five years, Ravenwood finally got over the hump Wednesday night.
The Raptors battled a lightning delay and a late Houston push to escape with a 1-0 win at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex to advance to first state title match in program history.
“Looking back to December when we started this, Houston was on the forefront of our minds,” Ravenwood senior Jake Hill said. “They’ve knocked us out the last three times we’ve been here. We just wanted to get back here and take them down.”
Ravenwood can clinch its first state title with a win over Bearden in Friday’s 1:30 p.m. state final.
The Raptors unseated defending Class AAA state champion Houston with a 44th minute goal by Hill.
Hill was awarded a free kick from about 25 yards out and blasted the ball hard enough that it went through the wall, off the goalkeeper’s gloves and into the back of the net.
“Being a lefty, I had a right-footed player set up like he was going to take it,” Hill said. “I just quickly took it and got a really lucky deflection… It’s an unbelievable feeling. I can’t tell you how good this feels.”
The Mustangs managed two very close tries late on a header right in front of the goal that sailed high and a free kick that rolled just right of the post, but nothing got past sophomore Ravenwood keeper Jack Hyatt, who finished with five saves.
– Sam Brown
Bearden 4, Station Camp 1
MURFREESBORO The only Class AAA team that had won more matches this season than Bearden High was its semifinal opponent in the state soccer tournament, Station Camp.
Neither rain, lightning nor an early Bison goal could keep the Bulldogs from earning a shot at their fourth state title, as Bearden rallied to force overtime and eventually earn a 4-1 victory over Station Camp on Wednesday evening at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
“I’m just really blessed to be on this team,” Bearden senior forward Gabe Alvarez said. “We just came out and we wanted it more. We wanted it not just for ourselves, but for our school, our family, our friends and our fans.”
Junior forward Chase Freeman scored 6:58 into the match to give the Bison (23-2) a 1-0 lead, where it remained until halftime.
Jameson Elmore tied the match for Bearden (22-3) 35 seconds after coming back from a lightning delay, taking advantage of an open shot opportunity after Station Camp senior defender Tanner Carter slipped at the top of the 18-yard box.
“It was the craziest game I’ve ever been part of,” Station Camp senior Tanner Carter said. “And I’ve been a part of some crazy games.”
Alvarez scored twice in overtime, netting a wide-angle strike 1:01 left in the first 10-minute overtime period to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead and adding another one with 3:28 left in the second overtime period.
Senior Kelvin Garcia scored from 25 yards out with 7:10 left in the second overtime period.
– Chris Brooks
MBA 1, McCallie 0
MURFREESBORO – Defending Division II-AA state champion Montgomery Bell Academy will have a chance to play for a state title for the
second straight year after knocking off McCallie 1-0 in Wednesday’s semifinal game at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
The MBA win means the Big Red will play Christian Brothers for the DII-AA state title in Thursday’s 1:30 p.m. final after Christian Brothers knocked off Father Ryan 1-0 Wednesday night.
“It was a huge game for us because they’re quality team,” Big Red coach Giles Cheevers said. “We just tried to unsettle them a little bit and throw them off their game a tad today.”
MBA succeeded in that plan, holding Blue Tornadoes to just five shots on goal in the game and handing McCallie its only shutout of the season.
The game remained scoreless through the first half, but the Big Red broke through, scoring what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute when freshman Henry Hylbert booted a redirected pass into the bottom right corner of the net.
The play happened so quickly, Hylbert wasn’t even sure it was him who had scored.
“I didn’t really think it was me at first because it was so fast and quick,” he said. “My job was to just kind of make it messy in the keeper’s area. I just found it and put it in.”
Big Red goalkeeper Zac Jarnigan did his job as well, saving all five McCallie shots on goal.
– Sam Brown
Christian Bros. 1, Father Ryan 0
With six seconds left in the first half Christian Brother’s Bradley Pounds found the back of the net off an assist from William Gildea to give the Brothers the only goal of the contest defeating Father Ryan 1-0 in the DII-AA semi-final game.
The Brothers now advance to its second straight finals and play Montgomery Bell Academy in a rematch of last year’s finals, which MBA won 3-0.
With play evenly matched throughout the first half, Christian Brothers had a scoring opportunity with time winding down as Gildea pushed the ball up the sideline and made a nice push pass to Pounds who one timed it in for the goal with just six seconds remaining in the half.
“It was huge,” Brothers’ head coach Nick Glaser said on the first half goal. “Father Ryan held us at bay for a long, long time in that first half and I thought our guys did well, connected on some passes and what a great finish by Pounds off a Gildea assist, so that was definitely big for us going into halftime.”
Father Ryan had a tough time all game trying to find scoring opportunities and when they had their chances Christian Brothers’ defense cleared it away. Irish’s head coach Robin Dieterich credits the game plan that Christian Bros. had going into the game to shut them out.
“They came out with a game plan and executed it,” Dieterich said. “They were very physical with us and had other ways to keep the ball away from us. It hasn’t been very many times this year that we haven’t been able to score a goal.”
Father Ryan finishes the season 18-3-1.
“It was a spectacular season and it’s just unfortunate that it had to end a bit soon,” Armbruster said. “It’s a great team and a great group of guys and I wouldn’t want to be in it with anyone else.”
– Kyle Lumsden
ECS 2, FRA 1
MURFREESBORO–It’s been said that soccer can be a cruel game. It certainly was for Franklin Road Academy Wednesday.
The Panthers survived an overtime penalty awarded to the Eagles and had some excellent chances to equalize before falling 2-1 in the Division 2-A semifinals at Siegel Soccer Park. ECS will play for the third championship in school history Thursday at 1:30 p.m. against Knoxville Webb, which defeated Lausanne 3-0.
ECS ends a streak of four straight semifinal losses at the expense of FRA, which ends the year with a 15-5-4 record.
“The game can be harsh,” said FRA coach Chris Price. “On a different day … but we had our chances. We just didn’t connect.”
FRA’s best chance came after Mark Gosney’s goal with one minute left in the first overtime that put ECS up 1-0. But a close-range header banged off the bar and ECS keeper Clayton Brown made a great save on the rebound.
The Panthers also got some great goalkeeping of their own in overtime when George Somers saved a Peter Linn penalty. Linn converted from the spot in the 69th minute to tie it after Justin Cox had opened the scoring midway through the first half.
“I told them I’m proud of them but I’m not impressed with the way we played,” said ECS coach Jordan Thompson. “We’ve gone 12 games now without losing and your not going to do that by being fantastic all the time. But we did not connect well. At all.”
– John Varlas
Ravenwood 2, Dobyns-Bennett 1
MURFREESBORO – Ravenwood’s boys soccer team went a perfect 5-for-5 in penalty kicks to defeat Dobyns-Bennett 2-1 in the AAA quarterfinals matchup as 110 minutes wasn’t enough time to decide the outcome.
Raptors’ Pedro Cobo, Blake Sams, T.J. Munzel, Jake Hill and Dalton Bickel all netted goals to seal the victory and send Ravenwood back to the semifinals for the second straight year.
“I told them that we were going to be there regardless and to believe in each other,” Ravenwood coach Jose Londono told his team before penalty kicks. “That’s been kind of our motto the whole year, we trust each other and believe in each other and I think that’s really important especially when you’re out there.”
After a scoreless first half, Jake Hill scored off a penalty kick eight minutes into the second half giving Ravenwood the 1-0 lead.
Dobyns-Bennett with five minutes to play in regulation tied the game at 1-1 off a shot from Steven McKinney who scored over a wall of Raptors defenders.
That would remain the score after the overtime periods forcing penalty kicks. After the first round both teams each scored.
In the second road Raptor’s goaltender Jack Hyatt made one of his seven saves on the day, stopping Indian’s Jordan Broadwater from scoring in the second round of kicks.
That was all Ravenwood needed as Dalton Bickel found the back of the net to seal the win on the fifth and final round of kicks.
“It’s a mental game at that point,” Bickel said. “I was just keeping my head and making sure I did the right thing and put it in the back of the net.”
Ravenwood will play Houston in the semifinals on Wednesday At 6:30.
– Kyle Lumsden
CPA 3, Lexington 0
MURFREESBORO – Christ Presbyterian Academy began defense of its A-AA soccer title with a 3-0 win over Lexington Tuesday.
CPA (22-0-3) advances to play Central Magnet in the state semifinals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Lexington ends its season at 17-3-1.
Chip Omer scored for the Lions in the 18th minute, and they added a second goal in the 32nd minute by Allan Heuerman.
Lexington continued to create chances, but the first goal never came.
CPA added one more late as Harrison Myers scored from 30 yards out in the 76th minute for the final scoreline.
“The last couple of games, we have had to grind it out,” CPA coach Tom Gerlach said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we had some good hard work to score those two goals in the first half.
“This was Lexington’s first trip to state, and we had no like teams, so I didn’t know what to expect. They had a wide open look that they could have put away. A win is a win though at the state tournament.”
The Tigers have four seniors – Jace Vestal, Ryan Courtright, Bryce Stanfill and Jacoby Haynie – and three play vital roles on the field.
Lexington must replace those seniors, but the team has a good number of sophomores that return to try get this team back to Murfreesboro.
– Michael Odom
Station Camp 2, Cookeville 0
MURFREESBORO Station Camp High’s boys soccer team had a familiar opponent to open the Class AAA State Tournament.
The Bison also had a familiar result, defeating Cookeville 2-0 in Tuesday afternoon’s quarterfinals at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
After a scoreless first half, Station Camp (23-1) tallied 36 seconds into the second half as sophomore Stone Bresnahan’s deflected ball was knocked in by a Cookeville defender.
“We kind of had to break them down and figure them out,” Station Camp junior Noah Ashley said. “We just had to figure out how they shifted as a defense.”
The Cavaliers (17-5-2) played a man down for the final 32:14 after senior midfielder Nathaniel Barnes collected his second yellow card of the match and was disqualified.
With Cookeville’s goalkeeper far out of the net late in the match, Station Camp junior Chase Freeman chased the Cavaliers back into their own end. Ashley took advantage of the aggression, taking a loose ball and lofting a 25-yard shot into the keeper-less net for an insurance goal with 1:21 left.
“Sometimes when you’re playing an opponent who probably has you on skill, as (Station Camp) probably does, you can sometimes look to set pieces to be a difference-maker,” Cookeville head coach Sam Matson said. “They did a good job of defending them today. We’re usually pretty solid on them, but we weren’t able to sniff them out today.”
Both teams met earlier in the season, with Station Camp defeating the visiting Cavaliers 3-0 on April 4.
The Bison will face Bearden – a 3-0 winner over Collierville – Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
– Chris Brooks
Houston 4, Oakland 0
Oakland’s soccer team couldn’t stop Houston’s buzzsaw Tuesday afternoon.
The defending state champion Mustangs began their quest for another state championship,
scoring a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, the last 10 minutes of the first half and adding two more late for a 4-0 win over Oakland in a Class AAA state quarterfinal at Siegel Park.
Oakland finished its season 20-5.
“My boys deserved to be here,” Oakland coach Matt Manning said. “You see why they’re one of the best in that state. We were just back on our heels. It was a better second half from my guys, but we just had some unlucky bounces in that half.”
Oakland got outshot 20-4. Two of the shots came in the first 10 minutes, but Houston’s Peyton McKnatt scored in the 11th minute to take some of the steam out of the Patriots.
The match stayed 1-0 for much of the rest of the half, but Houston’s Corey Brown scored in the 30th minute to double the Mustangs’ lead.
“I think down 1-0 at halftime, the morale probably would have been a little bit better,” Manning said. “I felt the goals we gave up in the first half were just effort goals. We just came out slow. Houston wanted it today. They’re tough.”
Houston (17-1-2) will play Ravenwood 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in a state semifinal..
“Houston’s here every year,” Manning said, “and nerves for them were probably a little bit less than what they were for us coming into it. This is a big stage. All eyes are on us, and I think nerves definitely played a part.”
– Dean Fox
Greeneville 2, White House 1 (OT)
MURFREESBORO – White House High and Greenville’s soccer teams had the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex all to themselves late Tuesday evening.
The drama finally reached the crescendo after eight rounds of penalty kicks, as Greeneville junior Gray Hull connected on the match-winning try to hand White House a 2-1 defeat. The Greene Devils prevailed 7-6 in the penalty-kick phase.
Both goalkeepers – Greenville sophomore Quentin Michel and White House senior Logan Trimmer – made saves in the third round to keep things even.
“We won on penalty kicks in the district championship and, at that time, I said it was the worst way to settle an athletic event ever,” White House head coach Mark Lamberth said. “We lost here and I still feel the same way. I’d rather finish it on the field with whatever bodies are left to play, but it is what it is.”
Each team scored on four out of five attempts in regulation penalty kicks to force the sudden-death phase.
Junior Josh Dunlap gave the Blue Devils (19-3-3) a lead with 13:21 left in the first half before Jean-Pierre Elyze-Vital tied the match for Greeneville (22-2) with 3:19 left before halftime.
Greeneville advances to face Christian Academy of Knoxville, a 3-2 winner over Notre Dame, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
– Chris Brooks