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SoccerDawgs thinking big after yet another state tourney trip

KINGSPORT — Trailing Sullivan South 1-0 in the first half of Saturday's sectional game, the Bearden SoccerDawgs dominated the final 50 minutes of play and punched a ticket to Memphis with a 4-1 victory.

"... We pretty much dominated the last ten minutes of the first half and the entire second half," BHS head coach Eric Turner said, earning his fifth Class AAA state tourney trip in six years.

"Individually, I think Craig Cook had a great game for us, he kinda dominated the midfield," Turner added. "And then Ryan Radcliffe, Rico Carter and Kris Gustafson in the second half."

Radcliffe's goal, assisted by Brandon Wyrick, tied the game, then Cook scored on an assist from Gustafson to give BHS a 2-1 halftime lead. Second half goals from Radcliffe, assisted by Gustafson, and Carter, assisted by Radcliffe, salted away victory.

No. 7 state-ranked Bearden entered its first-round state tourney game vs. Houston (Wednesday after press deadline) with a 16-4-4 record. The SoccerDawgs and No. 10 HHS played to a 0-0 tie during the Bearden Invitational in April.

A win places the SoccerDawgs in the state semifinals today (Thursday) vs. either No. 1-ranked Hendersonville or No. 3 McMinn, — who beat BHS earlier this season in Athens 3-1 — at 8 p.m. EDT, Thursday, May 27.

As for a possible state tourney title game rematch vs. Farragut, "we'd definitely like to see them again," Turner said of his team's 2-to-1 edge this season despite FHS’s 2-1 Region 2-AAA title win (see story beginning on page 13). "If neither of us make it and we don't get that rematch, you don't want that to be the last game ...”


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