After getting knocked down by a national powerhouse, the Boyd Buchanan boys' soccer team bounced back with purpose.
A week after allowing eight goals to No. 1-ranked Dalton, a locked-in Buccaneers defense provided a clean sheet Tuesday night to finish off a perfect regular season in district play with a 2-0 home shutout of Chattanooga Christian.
The booming vocal leadership of center back Adrian Oyler and vision of goalkeeper Harrison VanEaton helped a complete effort in the Division II-A East Region District 2 game.
"Over the past week we have hit on defending with passion and desperation," Boyd Buchanan coach Dustin Walker said. "All the guys did a good job of getting back and behind the ball. We played great team defense and with a lot of passion."
Boyd Buchanan (7-2-2, 6-0) did its damage offensively in the first half.
Daniel Ingram's pass down the left sideline found the fleet-footed Hayes Wood, who put the opposing goalie at a tough angle. Finishing off a strong run to the left post, Wood slid a shot across that bounced off the right post and in for his 16th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead just four minutes into play.
In the 37th minute Wood's shot to the far left was deflected by the Chargers keeper, but a follow by Sam Bruner provided the score and a great swing of momentum.
"As you get further in the season it's those effort goals like Sam's tonight that make a difference," Walker said. "We had a lot of shots but couldn't get any to go in the second half. It took somebody working hard and following a shot to provide a major difference in a big game."
The Buccaneers clinched home-field advantage for the district tournament with the win. Bruner was a force in the midfield passing the ball as well.
Chattanooga Christian (7-5-1, 4-1-1) played hard-nosed defensively in the second half as it shut down runs by Wood, one of the city's top attackers, with double and triple teams at times. He was held to one goal on seven shots.
"Our guys did a good job collectively defending Hayes in the second half. I was proud of our second-half play and how we gave ourselves a chance," Chargers coach Gene Nelson said. "But you aren't going to shut him down completely. He is a great player."
The Chargers received strong play from Edimo Ninteretse, who just missed a powerful 20-yard shot above the crossbar in the first half and sent in a dangerous second-half cross.
CCS's top scorer, speedster Erick Manirakiza, showed his burst and nearly scored on a strong free kick by Knox Thompson into the left side of the box in the 59th minute. Center forward Jack McClearn also helped spread the attack in the second half.
Boyd Buchanan outshot the Chargers 12-2.
Contact Patrick MacCoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PMacCoon.