Cyclones blank Junior Bucs, take district soccer crown
Published 1:27 pm Friday, May 8, 2015
BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
The thunderstorm that passed through town in the early evening Thursday was a precursor to the action that took place at Brown-Childress Stadium. Elizabethton blanked University High 4-nil to take the district 1A-AA boys soccer crown.
The Cyclones (12-3-2) swept the season and post-season from UH and did not surrender a goal to the Junior Buccaneers in that span. Junior striker Pedro Teixeira scored two goals in this one, while senior forward Isaac Fife also tallied a goal. The capper came from sophomore Dante Callahan.
“It’s hard to beat a team three times, especially with a rivalry like we have had with them,” Cyclones head coach Bill McClay said. “But if you don’t let them score, they can’t beat you. We played really good defense tonight, and they adjusted their tactics on us a little bit, but we adjusted to it pretty well.”
University High got its first chance early in the match as Logan Webb sent a feed in from a corner kick into the penalty area, where Brady Sant sent a shot at EHS sophomore goalkeeper Noah Lovelace.
Lovelace, who has made a habit of making big stops lately, made another as he stopped the ball just inside the right post and kept it from skittering across the goal line.
“I feel like I have one of the best back lines in the state,” Lovelace said. “The shot was deflected and it went in front of one of the defenders and I felt like he was going to take the shot. So I just kind of got down low and tried to stop it as best I could.”
From there UH had just two other shots that could have possibly gone in with the back line of Hayden Townsend, Josh Smith and Logan Birchfield did a fine job of protecting the penalty area and keeping everything in front of Lovelace.
EHS got on the board in the 14th minute when Fife set up a free kick from 40 yards out. His shot was defended by the Bucs, but they failed to clear the rebound and Teixeira pounced on the loose ball and fired a shot past keeper Luke Wexler.
In the 23rd minute, EHS made it a two-goal advantage when Fife put a rebound of a free kick by Birchfield past Wexler. Birchfield boomed his direct kick into the goal box and Wexler was unable to handle the ball and it rebounded to the penalty area where Fife knocked it home.
“I am always looking for rebounds on every shot,” Fife said. “We knew we had to shut them down, and we shut them down tonight. This team keeps building up with every game. We have good momentum now, and we are playing good defense and keeping our focus. This is something I have wanted the last few years and finally we have a district championship.”
In the second half, Teixeira scored his second goal in the 51st minute on a breakaway, unassisted goal that he fired past Wexler from his right. Teixeira drove deep into the penalty area and went baseline from where Wexler came out just enough for Teixeira to push the ball past him into the far corner for a 3-nil EHS lead.
“Every game our main goal is to play good defense,” Teixeira said. “Offense wins games, but defense wins championships and our back line played tremendous.” In the 78th minute, Callahan put a shot past Wexler for the final margin of victory and that came on a play in the midfield that Teve Mushayamunda played forward to Callahan and he finished the play with a right footed shot low to the ground.
EHS will play on Tuesday evening in the regional round against Berean Christian of Knoxville with game time tentatively set for 6 pm.