McCallie soccer coach Tony Meyers had done the research. He knew that a victory over rival Baylor would give his team the Division II-AA East/Middle top seed heading into the state playoffs, but he knew he was going to need one of his eight senior starters to step up in the clutch in Friday’s game.
It was only fitting that the one with the worst luck previously — Blake Singer — turned up the biggest.
The diminutive Singer scored the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute, and the Blue Tornado wrapped up the region championship with a 4-2 victory over the Red Raiders.
Junior Marek Stout had two goals and the assist on Singer’s first goal of the season for top-ranked McCallie (14-2, 7-0), while Hunter Brock added two assists.
“It was refreshing to pull this one out because they’re a big rival,” Stout said. “We knew it was going to be a war, but our defense really held up in the second half.”
Meyers echoed that comment after the Tornado held fourth-ranked Baylor scoreless after allowing two goals by OT Bah in the first half.
“We made a couple of tactical adjustments at halftime and didn’t allow their two center backs to roam free,” Meyers said. “Tonight was a game about desire, and our defense did a good job in the second half.”
Stout scored both of his goals in the first half, but Baylor continued to press and respond, with Bah keeping the game tied going into the break. In the final 40 minutes, though, McCallie continued to press, which led to Singer’s go-ahead goal.
A.J. Cook added an insurance goal about six minutes after Singer’s.
“I thought that some of our better players didn’t play well today,” Baylor coach Curtis Blair said. “Part of that was McCallie, because I thought [McCallie defender] David Barnes was all over the place today, but it was a bad day to play poorly.”