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COLUMBIA — Columbia Central snapped Tullahoma’s five-game winning streak and with it claimed the District 8-AAA boys soccer tournament championship Thursday night in Columbia. The Lions got an early goal and held on for a 1-0 victory.
Tullahoma (9-2-5) will now go on the road to play in the semifinals of the Region 4-AAA tournament. The Wildcats play at Riverdale (10-2-3) at 7 p.m.
“It was a tough loss; however, we still have an opportunity to advance in the postseason with a victory Tuesday night in Murfreesboro,” said Tullahoma head coach Richie Chadwick.
At Lindsey Nelson Stadium, Columbia’s Andrew Dean scored in the 18th minute of the game, and it held up the rest of the way as Columbia’s defense outlasted the Wildcats.
With the win, Columbia will host Oakland, the District 7-AAA runner up. Riverdale beat Oakland 5-0 on Friday night.
“I was really proud of our guys; they played great tonight,” said Columbia coach Drew Norman, who was named the district coach of the year after guiding the Lions to both the regular season and the district title.
Columbia’s lone district defeat was a 2-1 loss to Tullahoma back on April 24. Thursday night, however, Tullahoma never managed to find the offensive punch it had in that contest. Chadwick said one of his team’s objectives was to score a goal in each half.
Instead, the Wildcats were shut out for the first time since their season-opening match against Smyrna. Tullahoma took just seven shots on goal as the Lions protected their end of the field.
“I felt good about our chances when Andrew scored,” added Norman. “Our defense did a good job again.”
Tullahoma’s Josh Thompson was named the district’s Midfielder of the Year, while Brandon Jones, Joseph Burke and keeper Daniel Graves were to the league’s first team District 8-AAA All-District team. Noah Lee, Andres Garcia and Brady Panter were named to the second team.
—Additional information by the Columbia Daily Herald