CLEVELAND, Tenn. — The Cleveland pressure might not have burst any pipes in the Boyd-Buchanan soccer defense Tuesday, but it definitely was putting a scare into the Buccaneers coaching staff.
Luckily for coaches Dustin Walker and Jason Owens, the defense bent but didn't break.
Boyd-Buchanan got a first-half goal from Mason Wortman that sneaked past Blue Raiders keeper C.J. Garrett, and the Bucs defense led by Justus McMillan and Cameron Pope held its ground as the visitors won 1-0 at the Cleveland Soccer Complex.
The Bucs (4-1) were on their heels for the first part of the match, as the Raiders attack came at them in waves. The visitors started to counterattack and created some opportunities, capped by Wortman's goal on an assist by Ryan Watkins.
"They really peppered our goal in the first 10 minutes," Walker said. "Once we started to win possession, we created some good opportunities on the counterattack."
Boyd-Buchanan controlled the rest of the half, but the second half was a lot of Raiders attack, and the Bucs steered away dangerous opportunities at or near the box and goalkeeper Luke Hedrick.
Cleveland's Alex Rodriguez and Eric Ingraham, along with Jesse Jones, kept pressure on the defense but weren't able to get the tying goal.
Walker and Owens were pleased with what they've seen as the team's growth. The Bucs started seven sophomores and a freshman.
"Their work ethic is a lot higher, and they're getting better every match we play," Walker said.
"The guys worked hard to get that tying goal, but it just didn't come tonight," Cleveland coach John Brose said. "Boyd-Buchanan kept their defense compact and countered well; most of their offensive attack came from counters. They have a lot of speed up front with Chase Reed.
"We had plenty of chances tonight, but it just didn't happen for us."