By MICHAEL CURTIS | Photos by KINDELL MOORE
An overtime goal crushed Battle Ground Academy’s quest for its program’s second Division II-A state title.
Lausanne freshman Vinny Garcia buried a goal with 4:06 left in the first overtime session to give the Lynx (19-1) their second straight DII-A championship with a 1-0 win against BGA (13-5-2).
“I was just trying to give my team the advantage to win the state title,” Garcia said. “I want to thank my team for putting me in position. I’ve been working throughout this whole season and practicing really hard. It was a great game.”
Lausanne outshot the Wildcats 22-10. BGA senior goalkeeper Jack Jewell made nine saves in the loss.
BGA, the No. 4 seed out of the middle region, endured a tough road to the finals. It defeated Christian Academy of Knoxville, the No. 2 seed out of the east, in the first round of the tournament. Then, it took down St. George’s, the No. 2 seed out of the west, in the quarterfinals.
The Wildcats then defeated Christ Presbyterian Academy 2-0 Wednesday to push to the finals.
“I can’t be any prouder of them,” BGA head coach Rob Mitchell said. “They went through a hard road to get here and they did everything we asked.”
Players endured temperatures hovering around 90 degrees throughout the game.
“I don’t think it affected us any more than it affected them,” Mitchell said. “I think we both started cramping up towards the end, but I know his guys were drinking water all day and night just like we were.”
The best opportunity to score for either team in regulation was a free kick by BGA’s Conner Mitchell with 10 minutes remaining. However, his shot missed wide right.
“When we talked about leaving it all on the field, I don’t think we had any more left,” Mitchell said. “Their goal was to win a state championship, and they gave themselves a chance.”