The Boonville Pirates soccer team may have scored its biggest victory of the postseason last night after beating the Missouri Military Academy Colonels 2-1 in the semifinal round of the Class 1 District 7 Tournament at the BHS Sports Complex.
As the No 3 seed in the tournament, the Pirates jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead against MMA and then held off the Colonels during a flurry in the final minute of the game for the victory.
Boonville, 10-11 overall, will now advance to the championship on Thursday, Nov. 7th against top-seeded Southern Boone. The Eagles, 25-1 on the season, beat Fulton in the second semifinal game 3-0.
The winner will advance to the sectional round of the state tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 12th against the winner of the District 8 Tournament, which will be decided between either Fatima or Dixon.
Commenting on the game against MMA, Boonville Pirates soccer coach Tim Brown said stellar defensive plays, timely finishing, and a little bit of fortune go a long way in soccer.
“MMA dominated the possession, but we constantly left them frustrated outside of our box most of the time, and our counterattacks were pretty dangerous overall,” Brown said. “A high quality set play and a high quality head up play resulted in two freshmen goals, and some solid defense along with a near-flawless performance by the ‘keeper, and we landed ourselves our first trip, as a program, to a district final. We are excited that we get to play the team that has been ranked No. 1 in the state, Class 1, for nearly the entire season.”
In a rematch of last year’s championship game in the district tournament, the Pirates once again pin their hopes on the upset against the Eagles, who have dropped only one match all season.
Nonetheless, the Pirates withered everything had to throw at them last night with precision passes, great defense and goals at opportune times.
Although Mother Nature decided to show her ugly face in the second half with a torrential rain storm, the Pirates overcame that as well by fighting off MMA in the final 10 minutes for the victory.
As for the two goals, the Pirates scored the first on a corner kick from freshman Alec Adair to Philip Udinyiwe at the 12 minute mark in the first half. Udinyiwe’s header came amongst several MMA defenders but somehow Udinyiwe managed to jump just high enough to get a shot past the goalie.
The second goal by the Pirates came in the final minute of the first half when Tyler Drew made a pass downfield to Adair around the 30-yard line. Knowing that only seconds remained in the half, Adair attempted a shot from 30 yards out which barely cleared the hands of the MMA goalie to extend the lead to 2-0.
Of course it didn’t look good early on in the game against MMA. In the first-five minutes of the match, the Colonels had two shots on goals that were saved by senior goalie Nathan Green. Green also saved the Pirates a point by laying out for the ball around the 18 minute mark.
As for the second half, Boonville and MMA battled back and forth through the downpour with the Colonels scoring the only goal at the 73 minute mark to cut the lead to one at 2-1.
The Pirates played keep away after that while clearing the goal in the final seven minutes for the victory.
MMA finished the game out-shooting Boonville 10-8 on shots on goal and 24-16 on shot attempts.
Green, meanwhile, finished the match with nine saves against the Colonels.
As for fouls in the game, Boonville had six compared to just one for MMA.