The difference between the Baylor and McCallie soccer teams Friday evening in their Division II-AA state quarterfinal matchup was only a foot.
Better yet, a toe.
Baylor’s Lucas Baker scored in the second 10-minute overtime, and the Red Raiders defense held strong as the East/Middle region sixth seeds upset their top-seeded rivals 1-0 to advance to the Spring Fling state tournament in Murfreesboro.
The Baylor boys will be making their first state-tournament appearance since 2008.
On the deciding play, eighth-grader Baker slid past McCallie defender Builder Brock and got a toe on the ball as Blue Tornado keeper Josh Bandy was diving for it. The ball slowly crossed the plane for the go-ahead goal.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Baker said. “I couldn’t believe I scored the game-winner.”
Said Baylor coach Curtis Blair: “That play was a lot of heart and determination. I’m extremely proud of not just Lucas, but all of the guys.”
Blair’s defense bowed its back and limited the dangerous opportunities of the Tornado, who defeated Baylor 1-0 in the regular season.
McCallie sailed opportunities high and wide, and shots on target were gobbled up by Henrique Ribeiro, who made six saves.
Bandy finished with five saves for the Tornado, who lose three seniors off a team that had made three consecutive state tournaments.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed with the outcome,” McCallie coach Tony Meyers said. “We created some good chances, but we weren’t able to capitalize on them.”