HENDERSONVILLE – The Lady Bucs have exorcised a few demons this season… knocking off rival White House to win the regular season and tournament title’s… overcoming adversity to come back and win in what most term as “sudden death” but the soccer world refers to as the “Golden Goal” OT period.
Thursday night the Lady Bucs scored with just :19 seconds left in regulation before winning during the “Golden Goal” period and tonight (Saturday), with an opportunity to reach the state tournament for the first time in school history, they did it again. “I think having that experience helped us out, not panicking and getting over the hump of beating White House helped us mentally and emotionally,” said Beech HC John Ferguson.
The game started out fast and Sycamore scored first when a seemingly harmless shot from about 30 yards out by Eagle midfielder Emily Fisher rolled between the hands and feet of Beech goalie Natasia Jones. Jones was visibly shaken, but the Lady Bucs weren’t. The rest of the half was back and forth but Sycamore had outshot the Lady Bucs 9 to 2 and lead 1-0 at halftime.
It took the Lady Bucs nearly 9 minutes to get a shot in the second half and it came off a free kick in the southwest corner. Sydney Sandefur corralled a rebound and punched it past Sycamore GK Emily Robertson to tie the game at the 53’ mark.
Beech continued to put pressure on and two minutes later Kendra Mueller struck a free kick from about 40 yards out over the keeper’s head to put the Lady Bucs up 2-1 and the standing room only crowd exploded at Nathan Johnson Stadium.
The Eagles would not go down without a fight and Fisher knocked one home from the top of the 18 just four minutes later to tie it up at 2 apiece. Lady Buc Jill Fuqua scored of a corner kick at 62’ to put Beech up 3-2 and again Sycamore answered less than a minute later as Reagan Sutton banged one home from about 25 yards out to tie it again at 3.
What a game… both teams swapped a few more chances and at the end of regulation it was 3-3. Sycamore ended up with 16 shots and Beech had 8. The game remained deadlocked throughout the next two 10 minute overtime periods.
Heading into the 5 minute “Golden Goal” OT period you could tell both teams were tired as play slowed compared to the first 100 minutes. Hailey Burroughs ended up with possession outside the 18 box and to the left of goal, she made a move around an Eagle defended and hammered home the game winner from about 25 yards out. Beech had just earned its first trip to compete in the TSSAA State Soccer Tournament. “They figure out a way to give me a heart attack over and over…,” said Ferguson. “Sycamore played tough, we were fortunate to win… sometimes it comes down to somebody doing something great. We could have easily folded after that first goal. This was a goal that the seniors set and how great is it for them to accomplish that.”
The Lady Bucs will play Wednesday at the Siegel Soccer Complex at either 1:30 or 2pm. Other participants in the tourney include Seymour (17-3), Greeneville (11-8-3), East Hamilton (9-12-1), McMinn Central (11-4-1), Nolensville (17-1-1), South Gibson (17-2) and Covington (17-2)
AA Bracket at this URL – http://tssaasports.com/event/bracket.cfm?id=20181702