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Turner said his SoccerDawgs made to look like ‘little boys’ in 3-1 loss to FHS

In a showdown between two of Class AAA’s top four teams statewide, how bad was Bearden’s performance in the SoccerDawgs’ 3-1 loss to archrival Farragut Thursday night?

As first reported on Farragut First Edition, April 23, BHS head coach Eric Turner was highly critical of his team after its home loss at Allender Field.

“It the first half you could have put in the crowd, you could have put in the cheerleading team, you could have put in the Farragut tiddlywinks team and they would have kicked our butt,” he said.

Leading 3-0 by late in the first half and out-shooting BHS 25-11 for the game (shots-on-goal 11-6 FHS), the No. 3-ranked Ads capture the District 4-AAA regular season crown, 7-0, and improved to 12-1-2 overall. The No. 4 Dawgs lost for the first time, 10-1-3, and end up 4-1-2 in 4-AAA.

“We wanted to come out and play the aggressor because they were undefeated, we knew that we had to try to jump on ’em real quick to keep our confidence,” FHS head coach Wallie Culbreth said. “It seemed more intense tonight that it has in a long time … because this is a rebuilding year for both teams.

“Neither one was really sure what the other one had, and so we were trying to make it by emotion … we both were trying to play on emotion. It was a very physical game. I think a lot of that is you’ve got younger players trying to prove themselves with each other.”

Turner said FHS “brought the intensity, they we ready to go; we were scared, we were intimidated, we were not prepared, we were afraid. We were little boys today against men who came out and physically put in on us, technically put it on us. Total butt-whippin.”

Farragut broke ahead on John Jester’s header, assisted by Marshall Ishmael, with 25:27 left in the first half. “John Jester’s a newby this year, he’s a brand-new senior — I call him my ‘super sub,’” Culbreth said.

Ishmael said “possession and using the width of the field” were key. “They let us maybe, kinda pass the ball around ’em and wear ’em out for the first half.”

Less than two minutes later, FHS scored again on Trevor Grieco’s 18-yard shot from the right side at the 23:40 mark. “Trevor Grieco played a great game, always does,” Culbreth said about his senior midfielder.

The Admirals kept coming, and with Brandon Klarner’s save of a long pass near the base line another score would happen. Klarner’s save turned into a pass to an open Nic Petersen, whose shot from about eight yards out made it 3-0 with 6:38 left in the half.

“Brandon has an unusual knack of getting his foot on the ball somewhere, somehow,” Culbreth said. “He’s really had some wild shots this year, and some wild saves because he can get that foot up. That was an amazing goal.”

Defensively, “Wayman McLaugh-lin had a really good game,” Culbreth said about his junior defender.

McLaughlin said, “When we’d play the ball inside from the outside, that’s where we got our opportunities and that’s what coach has been telling us to do.

“We came into the game really prepared. We knew what we had to do to beat ’em. I felt like our team played with a whole bunch of heart, and it definitely showed,” he added.

Bearden also suffered a first-half injury requiring hospital transport: Nick Sisco collided with FHS goalkeeper Shea Beltran and suffered a moderate concussion. Turner, who said the sophomore will be out one week, praised Sisco “for bringing an intensity level to the game in the first half.”

Patrick Harmony’s tap-in goal in front of the net with 16:09 left in the game, assisted by Alex Wilkerson’s crossing pass from the right side, cut the margin to 3-1.

“Patrick Harmony’s been a warrior for us all year,” Turner said. “Seth Williams, right defender, he had a great game also, he’s another one we know we can count on.”

Harmony later had a breakaway attempt where his open 18-yard shot was saved, on a diving attempt, by Beltran.

“I thought we played a lot better in the second half,” Turner said. “But I don’t know if that’s because we stepped it up or they just couldn’t keep that intensity level up.”

Culbreth said Bearden “came back and played a good second half. I probably played it too conservative.”

As for Bearden’s 2009 prognosis, “Either they have heart and have desire and they have intensity level or they don’t, it’s something you can’t beat into ’em,” Turner said. “It’s going to be up to them how they want to focus the rest of the season.”


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