Balanced David Lipscomb got two early goals each by Jackson Boonstra and Curtis Hunt, and a pair of late ones by Michael Oruma Tuesday night.
The Mustangs roared to a 4-0 halftime lead, then fought off scrappy Cheatham County for a 7-4 victory in the semifinals of the Region 5-A/AA tournament at the Lipscomb University field. The win vaulted them into Thursday's finals.
Junior Hayden Vandervoort gave the Mustangs a quick 1-0 lead when he scored just six minutes into the game.
Then Boonstra and Hunt each scored twice and shared the wealth by setting each other up for pretty tallies. Hunt had an easy tap-in goal on a crossing pass from Boonstra, then Boonstra, a striker, scored himself on a slick pass from Hunt just 20 seconds later. Hunt scored again just three minutes later for the 4-0 lead.
"Curtis and I have combined for that a lot this season,'' the lanky 6-foot-1 Boonstra said. "We just try to keep it simple, not get selfish and try to do everything yourself.''
But the Mustangs (14-4-2) wound up holding on as Cheatham senior Jacinto Espinosa scored a hat trick. His final one enabled the Cubs (18-5) to narrow the gap to 5-4 with 17:50 left.
With Lipscomb fans getting nervous, it was Oruma, a native of Nigeria, who stepped up in the closing act and bailed out the Mustangs.
Just five minutes after Espinosa's third goal, Oruma booted one, which barely rolled in. Five minutes later, he rushed down the left side, cut into the middle, and blasted a high shot which landed in the upper left hand corner.
The two scores gave Lipscomb a commanding 7-4 lead with just seven and a half minutes left.
"Coach [Nathan] Proffitt keeps telling me to believe in myself,'' Oruma said. "I just thank God for giving me the gifts I have, and this is a testament to my teammates who also believe in me. I hope that we will be able to keep this going.''
The second half left Proffitt somewhat less than overjoyed.
"We scored when we had to,'' he said. "But in the second half, we seemed to take the game for granted. Espinosa is an outstanding talent, and he's great going to his right. For some reason, we didn't defend very well in trying to force him to his left. We made a few adjustments, and we were able to hold on.''
Lipscomb will host White House Thursday night in the region finals. Host White House eliminated M.L. King 3-1 in the other semifinal.
• Baseball: The Division II-AA Sectionals open Friday with best-of-three series, including Father Ryan at MUS; MBA at BGA; Brentwood Academy at Baylor and JPII at CBHS, all with doubleheaders. All Game 3s, if necessary, are Saturday.
In Division II-A Sectionals, Donelson Christian Academy starts its best-of-three series at Tipton-Rosemark with a doubleheader 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at and a possible third game Thursday. On Friday, Franklin Road Academy visits Harding Academy for a twin bill, starting at 1 p.m.
• Softball: In Division II-AA, all the Nashville area teams hit the road Friday. Father Ryan is at St. Benedict, Harpeth Hall goes to Baylor, and Pope John Paul II travels to Briarcrest.
In Division II-A Thursday, Evangelical visits Davidson Academy (4 p.m.) and Jackson Christian is at Donelson Christian Academy (5 p.m.) for doubleheaders.
• Track and field: Running event finals in the Class A/AA sectionals are Thursday night at David Lipscomb. Running event finals in the Class AAA Midstate sectionals are Friday at Kenwood High. DII Middle Region running event finals are Friday night at Montgomery Bell Academy.
• Tennis: Two-time defending state champ Montgomery Bell Academy hosts Brentwood Academy in the DII team sectionals Wednesday at 4 p.m. Winner qualifies for state.
• Soccer: In DII Sectionals Friday, MBA visits Christian Brothers and Father Ryan is at Memphis University School. On Saturday, Ensworth visits Baylor.
All winners qualify for state.