MURFREESBORO, Tenn - I don’t know about you, but Boyd Buchanan is probably feeling (20)22 right now. The Buccaneers clinched their first berth in the state championship game since 2011 after they rolled past USN by a score of 2-1. The final buzzer was certainly music to coach Dustin Walker’s ears.
“It’s been a while since we’ve been back to the finals,” coach Walker said.
“We’ve been back to Murfreesboro a number of times, and this game has been one that’s gotten in our way. To finally get here, we’re just so happy for the guys. We’ve been praying for this group to have this opportunity.”
Boyd Buchanan had tons of chances in the first few minutes, but just could not get one to go into the net. They took eight shots in the first half hour, with four of those courtesy of an uber-aggressive Ben Hauke. None of those shots happened to go in, but he ended up with the game winner a while later.
Another Boyd Buchanan attacker who had a huge impact on the game was Cam Park, who wore Triston McCurdy’s familiar number 15 and patrolled his territory on the wing to great effect. Even though he did not directly assist either of Boyd Buchanan’s single goals, his coach appreciated Park’s talents.
“Cam is our engine, and we know that,” coach Walker said. “Cam does a great job of settling the guys down and motivating them, and we just feel more comfortable when he’s in there.”
It wouldn’t be a Boyd Buchanan game without a Mills Wood goal, and Wednesday was no exception. Wood spent the entire season mauling center backs and imposing his will in the box.
It could be argued Wood would have scored even more if he hadn’t instantly attracted the attention of three different defenders every time he even sniffed a shot opportunity. In the 31st minute, Wood jumped above his horde of defenders and blasted a ball through the net with his head.
A corner kick and ensuing goal by USN’s talented Tre Sheats leveled the game in the 50th minute, a game that probably should’ve been a 4-0 game with how many chances Boyd Buchanan whiffed on. USN had five shot attempts to Boyd Buchanan’s 24.
“I thought we controlled the game pretty well and created tons of opportunities,” coach Walker said. “We just didn’t finish.”
But instead of moping about the lost lead, Boyd Buchanan promptly dominated possession and saw players like Phillip Collins create even more chances. It seemed the inevitable had finally happened when Hauke slotted a goal through and gave Boyd Buchanan the score to send them to the title game.
“Ben was battling in the back of the box and he finally got one through the net, and that was huge,” coach Walker said.
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