MURFREESBORO - The quest for a three-peat is still alive for the Station Camp Bison after they disposed of Karns 5-0 in the quarterfinal round of the TSSAA soccer championships Tuesday night.
After not starting fast the previous two matches, it was of the upmost importance that Station Camp not only start fast, but finish strong as well.
“That was the complete emphasis tonight,” Station Camp coach Jeremy Cooke said of the quick start. “We have the ability to play fast so let’s not wait to get a goal or two down before we start playing.”
The Bison struck fast, scoring their first goal just three minutes into the match when Phillip Smith hit a beautiful volley to beat the Beavers keeper, Carlos Ortiz.
Station Camp added one more goal from senior Tyler Jessen right before halftime, beating the keeper to the back post for the 2-0 advantage.
In the second half, Station Camp continued its dominance, owning possession, shots on goal, one-versus-one matchups and anything else on the pitch.
The Bison tallied three second-half goals, all from different scorers in the final 26 minutes claiming an easy opening-round victory over the Beavers.
Cade Maclean and Riley Indermuehle put the Bison up 4-0 and Ethan Schlegel put the nail in the coffin when he buried his goal with just 13 minutes remaining.
“We just need to keep playing the way we are playing, especially like we did in the second half,” Cooke said. “We are starting to put it together and if we play the way we should then we don’t have to make any adjustments.”
The second-half fireworks did not stop with the goals scored for the Bison.
Karns’ Francisco Martinez was issued a red card for game misconduct after punching one of the Bison players following a foul. Martinez was escorted off the field and the Beavers were forced to play a man down for the final 20 minutes.
“I think more than anything, it took them out of the game mentally,” Cooke added. “We got some momentum, but more so it was them and we did a good job taking advantage of that.”
One of the engines that make this well-oiled Bison machine run is center-mid Riley Indermuehle. The senior has been a part of now four straight state tournaments and a key member of the back-to-back state championships.
“I’m just blessed to be on a team that can make it this far year-after-year,” he said. “Tonight, the emphasis was to come out fast. We wanted to get our subs in and get rest for tomorrow.”
The Bison will take on the Cookeville Cavaliers on Wednesday at 7p.m. on Field 1 in the semifinals.
“We don’t really have a scouting report for any team, so it’s whoever we play we play,” Indermuehle continued. “We just take it game by game and hope to make it to the final.”
Jeremy Cooke, who is in his first year, echoed his senior’s comments, but took it a step further saying just one win in Murfreesboro isn’t good enough for this team.
“They know this, but it’s state championship or bust for us,” he said. “Thankfully for them they know how it goes. They know how to stay even keel.”