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Backstrom overtime goal lifts FHS past Blackman

MURFREESBORO — For Farragut’s Ben Backstrom, sitting out the second half wasn’t even an option.

After being kicked from behind with nearly a minute remaining in the first half, the senior didn’t know if his knee would hold up for the second half — but he wasn’t about to sit on the bench while his teammates finished the game without him.

Backstrom started the second half and scored the game’s winning goal in overtime to lead Farragut to a 1-0 victory in the state semifinals against Blackman, Thursday, May 24, at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.

“They had that one cheap shot and hurt my knee, so it is pretty sore but in the state semifinals you have got to push through it,” Backstrom said.

It’s a good thing for the Admirals, too.

In the game’s first overtime period, senior Jake Russell had the ball near the Blackman goal and Backstrom made his break.

“Jake is a great player and it’s awesome playing with him,” Backstrom said. “We have been playing with each other for a while so we read each other. When I saw him have that ball I made the run and he played it through.”

The result was the game’s only goal in the 83rd minute to give Admirals a 1-0 lead.

“They are two of the best in the state and by having them as a tandem they find a way to win,” Farragut head coach Wallie Culbreth said. “We know that and we push the ball their way and let them create and they usually do. If one doesn’t score the other one will.”

Aside from the lone goal, defense dominated the majority of the game.

“Blackman was a very scrappy team and we were not on tonight with our shot count,” Culbreth said. “We should have finished this off a little sooner, but I have nothing but kudos to say to Blackman because they came out very strong.”

For Farragut the defense wasn’t bad either, as they shutout a talented Blackman team that beat Houston the day prior.

“We just decided that we needed to step it up because Ben has given us so much this year, and we just went out there and won it for him pretty much,” senior defender Nic Paolucci said.” Overall we played really well and I think we deserved to win this game.”


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