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Region soccer showdown tonight?
No. 6 FHS hoped to add Region 2-AAA crown to district tourney title; No. 3 Bearden hoped to survive

Farragut head coach Dennis Lindsay said his team’s 2-0 victory against Bearden in the District 4-AAA tourney title game “is one of the most important games of my career because we weren’t supposed to be here this year, supposed to be a down year.”

And having the state’s No. 1 Class AAA team against the No. 3 team in a season-ending game for one side in Region 2-AAA play isn’t supposed to happen in a fair world.

But that’s what the No. 3-ranked Lady SoccerDawgs (15-4-1 record entering the week) faced traveling to No. 1 Oak Ridge in the region semifinals Tuesday, Oct. 18 (after press deadline).

The victory by No. 6 Farragut (14-4-5 entering the week) at Bearden’s Bruce Allender Field Thursday, Oct. 13, earned the Lady Ads a home game in the Region 2-AAA semifinals against District 3-AAA tourney runner-up West Oct. 18.

Wins by FHS and BHS means the Lady Ads host the Region 2-AAA title game against the Bearden winner tonight at 7 p.m. Otherwise, Farragut travels to Oak Ridge Thursday.

BHS head coach Eric Turner said Farragut’s victory against his Lady SoccerDawgs was convincing.

“Farragut came out and wanted it more,” Turner said. “We made a couple of mistakes and they capitalized, and the mistakes they made we didn’t capitalize on. That’s the way games are. Hats off to Farragut, they did a great job and they were the better team than us tonight.

“Their defenders made the saves they had to, ours didn’t ... Farragut did the little extras to want to win the game, and we didn’t,” Turner added. “We had two horrible mistakes and we paid for it.”

Lady Ad senior defender Emily Harris was an unlikely girl to break a scoreless tie, but the senior fired home an open 20-yard shot past BHS standout goalkeeper Sarah Himmelreich with 24:30 left in the first half.

“I was really excited, it was my first goal of the season,” Harris said. “Especially against Bearden. Winning district and all just adds to it.

“Everyone always tells me to take a shot and I usually don’t,” Harris added. “I was like, ‘hey, why not take a shot.’ ... I was surprised it went in.”

Freshman Mindy Hopkins made it 2-0 with 4:20 left in the first half following a crossing pass from senior midfielder and All-state candidate Jessica Stephens.

“I knew it was going to come across, I wasn’t sure where it was going to be but I figured I might as well go and hope for the best,” Hopkins said, scoring after Hopkins’ pass to Chelsea Dolak deflected back to Hopkins near the BHS net. “It was very sudden.”

Freshman defender Alyssa Dresen said the Lady Ads “work together great ... people are always talking to each other, good communication skills and we help each other out. I love it, it’s great. The older teammates have been real nice and helped me adjust, and I love it out there.”

Bearden’s Janie Dance said, “I really have no idea why we came out this game and played flat and couldn’t win balls up top and couldn’t lay the body in the back. It’s just real disappointing because our whole school came out to watch us win and they watched us lose.”

Lindsay said his defense “has been solid all year, it’s hard to score against us if the girls are playing as a unit. We didn’t do anything any different than we’ve been doing.”

The coach said it was quite unlike a 2-1 regular season loss to BHS Sept. 15 at FHS. “In the second half we just tuckered out. ... we got in a defensive shell, everybody got back in a box and Bearden stayed there until they put it in. They were bound to win because we had no offense,” he said.


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