Buchholz boys soccer edged in semifinal
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 12:35 a.m.
WINTER GARDEN — Buchholz's historic boys soccer season — one with national recognition and firsts in the state playoffs, ended here Friday night.
Within the first 12 minutes of the Class 5A state semifinals, the West Orange Warriors got all the goals they would need and held on to a 2-1 upset over the Bobcats at Raymond Screws Field.
West Orange (19-0) will make it first state final appearance and face Weston Cypress Bay for the 5A state title on Feb. 16. Buchholz (18-2-4), ranked No. 2 nationally by MaxPreps, ends a season where the Bobcats reached their first state semifinal, won their first regional final and captured the school's first district title since 2001.
But the faces of the Bobcat players said it all. If only the first half could be wiped away.
“The guys never gave up,” said Buchholz second-year coach Andy Aulick. “Usually down 2-0, it could have been over right there. But they composed themselves and kept fighting to the end. We had our chances. I'm proud of them.”
The biggest play came at the 9:32 mark of the game when Warrior freshman Greg McDoom, on a breakaway to the goal, was pulled down by Buchholz goalkeeper Hunter Patrick as he desperately tried to prevent a score. He received a red card and was ejected for the rest of the game.
With backup goalkeeper Michael Guthrie in, McDoom scored on the penalty kick for a 1-0 West Orange lead. Just a few minutes later, at the 11:38 mark, sophomore Felipe Silva, on another breakaway, scored for a 2-0 Warrior advantage.
“It was kind of missed key there in judging the ball,” Aulick said of Patrick. “I felt he was going for the ball, but the red card was probably the right decision by the ref. Things just didn't bounce our way.”
The Bobcats played much better in the second half, especially offensively, and Eric West knocked in a penalty kick at the 62nd minute. Buchholz was only down 2-1 with nearly 14 minutes to play. Although it turned up the offensive intensity, Buchholz was unable to squeeze in another shot.
“I told the guys, we didn't win the game, but we finished playing the best soccer we could,” Aulick said. “There is no reason to hold our heads down. We made history. We made the longest run that any Buchholz team has ever made.”
West, one of 13 seniors on the team, said he was proud of his teammates.
“We went out with a bang in that second half,” he said. “Going down a man in the first half, within the first eight minutes, isn't any good. We showed heart out there in the second half.”
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