The Boyd-Buchanan girls' soccer team did enough Thursday night to frustrate Grace Academy, but Grace and sophomore Danielle Shumaker did just enough to get the win.
Shumaker's goal in the 52nd minute broke a scoreless tie and was enough for the Lady Golden Eagles to inch closer to the District 5-A/AA regular-season title with a 1-0 win.
Grace (8-0, 4-0) had averaged almost six goals per contest in its previous seven matches but was held in check by Boyd-Buchanan. The Lady Buccaneers played with as many as nine players on defense, leaving only forward Logan Highfield to attack when the opportunity arose.
Most of Grace's shots in the first half wound up in the back of a Boyd-Buchanan defender, but on the go-ahead goal, the ball was fed to Alex Walls in the middle, who touched in to Shumaker on the wing. Her shot from the right side beat keeper Ana LaFontaine.
"We had to look for opportunities throughout the match, and eventually we got the one we wanted," Shumaker said. "It's good that we were able to see a team that played like they played us tonight, because if it happens again we'll be better prepared about how to get around them."
Grace coach Gretchen Hammel admitted she was frustrated as she watched her team, which hadn't scored fewer than two goals in any match this season, search for the code to crack the Lady Bucs defense.
"My girls aren't used to playing that way, but we'll learn from it," she said. "We'll have to learn from it. We talked a lot at halftime about the need to keep our composure, and if we did the goal would come, and it eventually did."
Boyd-Buchanan coach Jacob Campbell was proud of how his girls executed the game plan and nearly stole the result they wanted. After tying Silverdale Baptist Academy last week, the Lady Bucs (4-2-1, 3-1-1) used an opportunistic style of offensive play Thursday, relying on counterattacks for their scoring chances.
"We got unlucky and gave Grace a good opportunity," Campbell said. "That's the sign of a good team that they did what they needed to do, but we worked on slowing them down tonight, and we did that."
Contact Gene Henley at email@example.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.