How Aidan Parker sent Brentwood soccer to its first championship game since 2012

·3 min read

MURFREESBORO — Aidan Parker lay on the ground exhausted while his teammates celebrated on the other end of the field.

Eventually he was swallowed up by Brentwood fans and his teammates but for a few seconds, Parker was able to sit alone and take the moment in.

The Bruins senior forward scored a game-clinching penalty kick with 4:23 remaining to beat Collierville 3-2 on Wednesday night and send Brentwood to its first championship game since 2012.

Brentwood (21-2-1) will play Bearden (21-1-3) on Friday at 4 p.m. for the Class 3A championship.

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"I heard Coach (Mike) Purcell screaming to give it all we had for the last five minutes and that we needed to go," Parker said. "I was determined to get that goal because I didn't want to go to extra time and that's extra minutes on my legs that I didn't need. I got the chance I was going for and made the most of it."

Purcell could hardly contain his excitement following the win.

The Bruins' last championship appearance in 2012 was also the last time that they won a state championship. Purcell led the Bruins to three state championships during his 20-year tenure at Brentwood, winning his first in 2005.

In recent years the Bruins have come up just short in the tournament or in the sectional. Being back in a title game is a welcome relief, according to Purcell.

"It feels good to be back," Purcell said. "We get to the state tournament a lot but getting to the finals is hard, especially this year. We played great teams along the way to get here so I'm tickled pink to make it."

Collierville didn't make Brentwood's run to the championship game an easy one.

The Bruins scored in the opening minute of the second half but Collierville responded by scoring a pair of goals over a nine-minute stretch to take the lead.

Bruins sophomore midfielder Jack Boring scored the equalizer with just over 15 minutes remaining. Taking a pass from just outside of the box, Boring fired a shot from just outside the 18-yard line, sending it past Collierville's keeper.

"I saw that I had an open shot and screamed for the ball," Boring said. "That's the biggest goal I've ever scored. It's just crazy to me."

Like Boring's goal, Parker's was almost entirely a solo effort.

A shot down the field sent Collierville's defender scrambling back to get the ball. Playing like he was shot out of a cannon, Parker beat him to the ball, dribbled into the box and battled long enough before he was eventually awarded a penalty kick.

Taking the shot calmly, he fired it past Collierville's keeper into the bottom left corner of the goal.

"My immediate thought is that I'm five-for-five on penalty kicks this year," Parker said. "I slowed my breathing down and picked a side. It worked out in the end."

Reach Joe Spears at or 731-343-4923. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @joe_spears7.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: TSSAA soccer: Aidan Parker's penalty kick lifts Brentwood past Collierville