MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- After scoring a goal 15 minutes into Tuesday’s TSSAA Class A/AA soccer quarterfinal and holding that lead for the next 23 minutes, Notre Dame felt good about its chances of advancing to the state semifinals.
Two plays from White House’s Luis Vital prevented the Irish from doing so.
The sophomore scored the equalizer two minutes before halftime, and in the 55th minute, his assist to Austin Thomas secured his team’s 2-1 victory over Notre Dame at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
“We gave it away,” Irish coach Jim Schermerhorn said. “We absolutely just gave it away. We’ve got to have that guy. Nobody stepped to him, and the ball hit off the keeper and went in.”
Baggio Card, whose golden goal on Saturday against East Ridge sent Notre Dame to the state tournament, got the Irish on the board early in their Spring Fling opener. Notre Dame held the 1-0 advantage until Vital’s score gave White House the momentum heading into halftime.
The Irish just missed a go-ahead goal on a shot that went off the frame 10 minutes into the second period, but their scoring opportunities were harder to come by the rest of the way.
“I thought we were kind of losing the midfield a little bit,” Schermerhorn said. “We didn’t create the chances we should have. It just came down to that. Our possession kind of broke down, and we didn’t create the goal-scoring chances. We knew it would be a tough game. White House is a good team.”
The Blue Devils capitalized on their best scoring opportunity of the second half with 14:51 left on the clock, and although the Irish had a few balls in the box the rest of the way, their season ended at 9-9-2.
“You hate this day,” Schermerhorn said. “You hate when your season ends, but I talked to the guys more about where we started the season, and where we ended up. I really enjoyed coaching this group. They worked very hard. We’re a younger team, and we made a good run at the end. It was a disappointing loss today, but we came a long way. There was a huge improvement from the beginning of the season, and I was really pleased with that. It’s a long road, and we did a good job.”
(E-mail Jaime Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org)