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Blowouts the name of the game for Lady SoccerDawgs

If you put a lot of shots on goal, chances are a lot of goals will be scored. So far this season, the Bearden Lady Bulldogs soccer team is doing just that.

With a 7-1 win versus Kingsport Dobyns-Bennett Tuesday, Aug. 29, and a 8-0 win against Sevier County Thursday, Aug. 31, the Lady Bulldogs’ offense is clicking on all cylinders as Bearden entered the week with a 4-0-2 overall record.

“Both games we played really well,” BHS head coach Eric Turner said. “The offense played exceptionally well against Dobyns-Bennett and Sevier County. Particularly Mary Alex Rochester, Emily Bithorn, Amy Porte. And collectively we did a great job.”

Against Sevier County, Mary Alex Rochester and Emily Bithorn added two goals apiece while Alex Meehan, Lindsey Pompilio, Amy Porter and Jennifer Gordon scored goals to lead a Lady Bulldogs team that outshot Sevier County 19-2.

Porter contributed two assists while Gordon, Mary Alex Rochester, Sara Rochester, Caroline Lutz, Emily Hill and Ashley Howarth also had assists.

“We finally got a shutout against Sevier County so that was good, and we emptied the bench against them in the second half,” Turner said. “We are real happy with the progress we are at right now.”

In the Dobyns-Bennett game, Bearden got off to a slow start and trailed 1-0 after an early goal by Grace McCord in the eighth minute. From that point on it was all Lady Bulldogs with Bithorn leading the way with three goals.

Amanda Barton had two goals and Pompilio and Porter added the other goals for Bearden, who outshot Dobyns-Bennett 32-8.

“Defensively against Dobyns-Bennett we started off a little slow, but then they came through in the second half and played really well,” said Turner, who credits athleticism as the reason for the offensive output Bearden has shown this season.

“Between Mary Alex, Amy Porter and Emily Bithorn up top and Hannah Rudder and Alex Meehan, Pompilio, Abbie Thumbler in the midfield we are just generating a lot of offense,” Turner said. “We have a lot of speed and those girls are so athletic that we are able to get a lot of shots off and really press the offense.”

Mary Alex Rochester had two assists while Sara Rochester, Brenna Mayfield, Rudder, Nikki Zaveri and Barton also added assists.

With the offense playing at such a high level, the Lady Bulldogs are trying to get the same kind of production from the defense. However, Turner feels that it’s only a matter of time before that happens.

“Right now Sara Rochester is doing a great job,” Turner said about his defensive leader. “We are trying to get freshman Taylor Cravanas to kind of be the role player back there. We are trying to groom her so she will there [in upcoming] years. We are looking for her to really step up and take charge of that defense. Hopefully she will be able to step up to the challenge.”

Aside from those two, Turner is pleased with the way some of his other defenders have performed thus far.

“We are also getting a lot of quality play from Tessa Batchelor and Emily Hill, so that’s kind of how we are looking at our defense.”

The Lady SoccerDawgs will be tested this weekend by some of the best teams in the state when Bearden travels to Chattanooga to play in the CCS Tournament.

“We already played Baylor and Houston to a tie and we will play some more good teams down there,” Turner said. “We just have to get over the hump and win one against these quality teams and that will give us a lot of confidence going into the season. But I think we should be able to play with them and give it a shot.

“There are really no easy teams,” the coach added. “It’s one of those tournaments that you go in there and you have to play well to win, and if you don’t you will be bounced out real quick.”

The Lady SoccerDawgs open play Friday, Sept. 8, against Independence.


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