Calm, cool and collected, Hunter Bradford buried the fifth and final penalty kick to lift Boyd-Buchanan to the District 5-A/AA soccer title over Arts & Sciences on Thursday night.
The Buccaneers won 5-3 in the penalties after they ended regulation and overtime knotted at 2 with the host Patriots.
Boyd-Buchanan raced out to a 2-0 first-half lead, holding most of the possession in the half and setting the pace.
"Our guys came out with a lot of fire tonight. They were ready to go," Boyd-Buchanan coach Dustin Walker said. "We were thankful to get that 2-0 lead because we know CSAS can strike at any time."
John Beasley corralled a rebound with his chest and volleyed it off the bottom of the crossbar and over the line for the game's first goal, and Jeremy Borders headed in a cross with four minutes to play in the opening half.
The Patriots had only one shot on goal in the first half but made it count. Zachary Webber cut the lead to 2-1 just before the break to give his team life.
"They're dangerous, especially in set pieces," Walker said. "I feel like we relaxed for about 30 seconds and they scored."
CSAS scored the equalizer on a corner kick in the 13th minute of the second half. Jack Bradshaw lofted it perfectly for Christo Payne, who elevated for the header.
"We came back on a beautiful header," Patriots coach David Poss said. "We adjusted (at halftime) from the back because I feel like we weren't holding the midfield. We brought a center back in and rolled the dice."
The Bucs continued to create chances but could not regain the lead. In the closing minutes of regulation, two Boyd-Buchanan players had a chance to take the goalkeeper one on one and didn't convert.
"We did a great job at creating a lot of chances, but we couldn't put one in the back of the net," Walker said. "If you can't finish, then it doesn't matter how many chances you create."
The two teams went scoreless in overtime to set up the penalty kicks. CSAS went up 2-1 before Andy Baumberger made two straight saves to put his team back in control.
"He reacts so quickly," Walker said. "He has really sharp instincts and comes up with saves like that in practice all the time."
Boyd-Buchanan converted its final three kicks to take the victory.
"I couldn't have asked anything more from my guys," Poss said. "Our bench really stepped up tonight. Maybe the motivation of seeing Boyd again will be enough to get us going."
The Bucs will host Howard while the Patriots will travel to Hixson in Region 3 finals Tuesday. A meeting in the region championship would be a rubber match for the District 5 rivals who split the district regular=season and tournament titles.
Contact Idris Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org