MBA soccer played 200 minutes in two days to claim TSSAA state title

MURFREESBORO — It was a test of stamina as much as desire and determination for Montgomery Bell Academy’s boys soccer team, which claimed the TSSAA Division II-AA state championship Thursday by rallying to a 2-1 victory over Christ Presbyterian Academy at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.

MBA won 4-3 on penalty kicks.

The Big Red (15-1-2) had to play a total of 200 minutes in the final two rounds to claim its second state title and first since 2015. MBA also beat Baylor in Wednesday’s semifinals 5-4 on penalty kicks.

“It all came down to conditioning for our boys and we knew they were up for this,” MBA coach Giles Cheevers said. “We knew this was a possibility. We had practiced penalty kicks for weeks leading up to this and it’s a credit to these boys for going through everything we put them through. The were ready physically and mentally. They were phenomenal.”

CPA’s Collin Kitchin (6) and MBA’s Richard Aylward (20) go for a header during the first half of a Division II AA state championship game at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Thursday, May 25, 2023.

The victory avenged MBA’s only loss of the season, which came against CPA (1-0) on April 19.

“That was all we could talk about in the pregame was that this was our time to get back at them,” MBA goalie Graham Smith. “Getting back in this sort of fashion in this environment is something I don’t think will ever be recreated again in my life.”