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BHS edges Brentwood in state semifinals


MURFREESBORO — In close games at the state tournament, experience plays a major role. It wasn’t easy for the Bearden Bulldogs but experienced prevailed in its 3-2 victory versus Brentwood that was decided by penalty kicks, Thursday, May 24, at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.

Brentwood’s Bradley Jacobs put the Bruins ahead 1-0 with a goal past Bearden goaltender Bryan Walker with at the 18:07 mark in the first half.

Bearden’s Ryan Campbell answered on a corner kick from Ryan Radcliffe with 6:51 remaining in the first half to tie the game 1-1.

Bearden let numerous offensive opportunities pass throughout the game, but the Bulldogs were able to overcome their misfortunes and compose themselves for a strong finish.

“This was a great high school soccer game, both teams battled. But I thought we had the better opportunities but our forwards didn’t finish,” Bearden head coach Eric Turner said. “They had two opportunities and they finished them both and that’s why we were in the position we were in.”

After a scoreless second half, the game entered overtime where Bearden junior Alex Widmer broke the tie with a rebound goal in the first 10 minute overtime period.

Brentwood, however, responded with a goal in the second overtime on a misplayed ball by Walker to send the game to sudden death overtime.

“Bryan dropped a ball he doesn’t normally drop and they put it in and all of a sudden we are in a tie game,” Turner said. “When you get to P-Ks anything can happen and someone has got to go on. But it was just a great game.”

Despite the mishap, the Bearden seniors were determined to not let this be their last game as a Bearden Bulldog.

“We had them two-to-one and we thought it was over then an own goal kept them in it,” Bearden senior Trevor Cook said. “It’s a big blow to you but you’ve just got to keep on doing what you’ve got to do to pull it out. That’s what we train for. We train real hard so we can get through these kinds of games.”

After two five-minute sudden death overtimes passed, the game was sent to penalty kicks. Ryan Radcliffe and Aaron Schoenfeld matched Brentwood’s first two successful kicks. After a Tom Webster miss and a Bruins make, the Bulldogs trailed 3-2. Bearden caught up after two Brentwood misses, then won. Senior Nathan Zivi kicked through the game winner.

In the end, experience paid off for Bearden.

“They have been through it,” Turner said. “We returned ten seniors so we played a tough schedule all year and we rely on our upperclassmen. That’s what happened today and they showed a lot of composure on the [penalty kicks].”

 

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