East Hamilton's Daniel Duk left, and Boyd-Buchanan's Tyler Tipton battle for the ball Tuesday at Redoubt Soccer Complex. Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Tuesday’s Region 3-A/AA soccer semifinal against Boyd-Buchanan had an eerily similar feeling to East Hamilton coach John Millard.
Luckily for his Hurricanes this time, it had opposite results.
A Daniel Duk goal 10 minutes held up for East Hamilton, which defeated the 2010 Class A/AA state champion 1-0 to advance to Thursday’s region championship game.
East Hamilton (14-2-2) will travel to face Sweetwater (16-3-1), which defeated East Ridge 3-2, in the 5 p.m. game.
During the girls’ season, the Lady Bucs scored a goal early in the match and went on to win 1-0. Both matches were played at Redoubt.
“We had to make sure we didn’t come in overconfident,” Millard said. “We had played and beat them earlier in the season — like we did during the girls’ season — but we had to make sure we were cautiously confident tonight.”
The Hurricanes controlled possession throughout, even after Duk’s goal. They finished with 11 corner kicks, and Jalen Goddard had near goals in each half, as did Jaxon McClure.
The Hurricane defense put the locks on Boyd-Buchanan junior Chase Reed, limiting his opportunities with the ball. Reed was one of just four returning players who received quality minutes during the Bucs’ 2010 senior-led state-title run.
“The guys did a phenomenal job in the back,” Millard said. “If you lose sight of Chase, he can get away from you because of his speed.”
Boyd-Buchanan (9-6) loses only two seniors this season after graduating nine senior starters last year.
“This was a good experience for our guys to go through,” Boyd-Buchanan coach Dustin Walker said. “They couldn’t buy this experience.”
Added Bucs coach Jason Owens: “East Hamilton is an excellent team that possesses well. We had a couple opportunities early, but it was a lot harder for our guys to adapt when they took Chase away, and it showed tonight.”