The McCallie soccer team hosted a Division II-AA state quarter final against Memphis University School on Thursday. The Blue Tornados overcame an early mistake and completed the comeback to advance to the state semi-finals with 2-1 win.
MUS went up 1-0 just ten seconds in after a miss hit clearance looped over the keeper. Despite being down early, McCallie Head Coach, Chris Cushenbery, was pleased with his team’s response.
“It was a tough way to start, but I was really proud because the next five minutes, we went and created three really good chances.” said Coach Cushenbery.
McCallie controlled the rest of the half and forced several saves from the MUS goal keeper. McCallie would need something special to beat him.
“At halftime, I wanted to do two things. I wanted to reduce the decision making a little bit by simplifying tactically and I wanted to give our guys a chance to win their own 1v1 battles.” said Coach Cushenbery.
The tactical change worked for the Blue Tornado early in the second half, but they still could not find the back of the net. Goal scoring opportunities continued as the host’s hit the crossbar twice early in the second half.
The special moment that McCallie needed came with 15 minutes left in the match when junior, Noah Tremain, took a free kick from midfield. Tremain’s cross flew past everyone and the MUS keeper could only get a fingertip on the ball as it soared into the net. The MUS resistance had finally broken.
McCallie continued to pour on the pressure. Shot after shot was followed up with a save or a corner kick. Their pressure finally paid off when they were awarded a corner kick. The initial shot was saved and the ball was recycled to the back post for another cross. That cross was bundled over the line by senior, Stone Roebuck. The McCallie stands went into pandemonium and all the players converged at the corner flag to celebrate. Roebuck’s goal completed the comeback and gave McCallie a big 2-1 victory.
McCallie will face Father Ryan in the state semi-final on Wednesday in Murfreesboro at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.