The team who held high the championship trophy Saturday night simply capitalized on opportunities.
Lewisburg did just that late in the second half and was able to get past Long Beach 2-1 to claim the MHSAA Boys Class 5A State Championship at Brandon’s Bulldog Stadium on Saturday night.
It is the Patriots’ first state title in school history.
“It was just a great soccer game and they came out on top,” Long Beach coach Andee Wilburn said. “The thing that hurts the most is not the loss it’s losing the seniors. They came a long way and played in two straight state championship games and I’m proud of them.”
It was a back and forth first half, but neither team could find the net and it was scoreless at halftime. The Bearcats (13-5-2) had two good looks at the goal, but both shots went directly to the Lewisburg goalkeeper.
Long Beach came out firing in the second half, scoring the first goal of the game on a breakaway by Connor Clarke when his first shot was blocked by the Lewisburg goalkeeper, but he got the rebound and scored in the 44th minute to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead.
“I think we had the momentum and going through and work the ball through the middle,” Wilburn said. “Only had a day and a half to game plan, but they capitalized more.”
Lewisburg (18-1-1) tied the game at 1-1 in the 65th minute on a goal by Ben Mullins off a pass from Ty Greer.
Greer then found Mullins on a pass and he scored with 7 minutes left in the game to give Lewisburg a 2-1 lead.
“The game was more intense than I prepared myself for. I was preparing for World War III,” said Lewisburg coach Harl Roehm, who coached along side Wilburn at Horn Lake. “Andee Wilburn is a heckuva coach and his squad played great. Very proud of the guys for staying posed and fighting through. Ben Mullins was clutch down the stretch and when they scored first we made a promise we weren’t going to lose this game and guys fought back.”