STORY BY CHIP CIRILLO | PHOTOS BY WHITNEY JARRELD
When Blake Chalfant kicked a point-blank scoring chance 10 feet over the crossbar with 30 minutes left in a scoreless game, it was actually a good sign for Brentwood.
“I felt like he was going to score and I kept telling him he was because that’s kind of his pattern,” Bruins coach Mike Purcell said. “He’ll have some ridiculous misses, but he’s getting the chances (which) is the main thing. And as long as he’s getting the chances, he’ll come through in the end.”
Sure enough, Chalfant scored twice in the final 12 minutes, giving Brentwood the District 12-AAA title with a 2-0 win over visiting Ravenwood on Friday night.
“That’s happened so many times this year,” Purcell said. “He gets tired, I guess, and can’t kick it over anymore, so he starts kicking it at the goal. But he’s got some amazing talent.”
Brentwood (14-0-1), ranked first in the Eurosportscoreboard.com Class AAA rankings, will host Dickson County (11-4-2) in a Region 6-AAA semifinal on Tuesday.
Chalfant’s first goal came on an assist from Naseem AbuSalim in the 68th minute.
Five minutes later, his goal from 10 yards out after a nice spin move increased the Bruins’ lead to 2-0.
“We had, like, 20 minutes left and I was just, like, we need to get a goal,” Chalfant said. “We need to win this game. This is huge. This is our biggest game of the season, so I think something just clicked in my mind.”
Chalfant leads the Bruins with 14 goals this season.
“I knew the goal was going to come,” Chalfant said. “We were pounding them in their half pretty much the whole game.”
Chalfant also scored with 12 minutes left in a 1-0 win over the Raptors in March after missing a couple of chances earlier in the game.
“The funny thing about Blake’s goal is he did the exact same thing to us in the regular season,” Raptors coach Adam Harris said. “The way he rolled it and played the ball, so that was tough to watch twice. They grind you down.
“(Blake) is fast, but what he’s really good at is turning you and rolling you. He gets you to go one way and then rolls you the other way.”
Chalfant doesn’t have any college offers, but his coach believes the senior could play at the next level.
“He’s a legitimate DI player,” Purcell said. “I mean, he can play at a lot of places and it’s their loss. I don’ think (college coaches) really looked at him and he hasn’t put himself out there to promote himself. And I think he’s fine going to UT to be a student.”
Chalfant played defense the previous two years.
“He’s begged to come up the last two years, but we had to have him on defense,” Purcell said. “So we bring him up this year and this is what happens. I should have listened to him two years ago.”
Goalkeeper Jake Severino earned the shutout for the Bruins, who won their seventh straight.
Brentwood shut out its fifth consecutive opponent, outscoring them 25-0 along the way. The Bruins have nine shutouts this season.
“Sam (Khomtchenko) played great at midfield, controlling tempo,” Purcell said. “It was a good team win.”
Brentwood did a good job containing Nick Dang, who scored five goals in Ravenwood’s 7-3 overtime win over seventh-ranked Independence in the semifinals Tuesday.
“All five of his goals came on restarts – they were penalty kicks or directs – so we knew we didn’t want to foul or give them an opportunity in our third of the field,” Purcell said. “And for the most part, we were able to do that. But they’re very good at serving the long ball and having a guy just flying down the field and luckily they didn’t get anything off that.”
Ravenwood (7-5-3) visits Overton (17-0) in the region semis Tuesday.
“We had enough chances to where we should have been in the game,” Harris said. “The difference was they put theirs away and we didn’t. They’ve got some incredible guys up front. If you give them just one or two chances, they’re going to put them away.”
Overton beat Ravenwood 5-2 on April 4.
“Their front four is crazy good,” Harris said. “But the boys are ready, so we’ll see what happens.”