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Nation’s No. 2 Ads edge SoccerDawgs; Hawks claim 1st 3-AAA title


With Farragut senior forward Sam Eddy proclaiming his No. 1 state-ranked and No. 2 nationally ranked soccer Admirals “America's Team,” and with head coach Wallie Culbreth saying his team handles the pressures of perfection “one game at a time,” the clichés were hot and heavy on a muggy Saturday afternoon.

But the Admirals' perfection continued after a 2-1 win against archrival Bearden, No. 2 state-ranked and No. 16 nationally, in the District 4-AAA tourney title game May 15 at Farragut Intermediate School field. Heading into a Tuesday, May 18 must-win Region 2-AAA semifinal hosting District 3-AAA runner-up Oak Ridge, the Ads were 20-0-0.


Bearden (17-2-2) traveled to District 3-AAA tourney champ Hardin Valley Academy — the program’s first title of any kind (12-5-1) — crushing OR 5-1 last week (more on HVA later in story).

“When we're playing well, we know it's only a matter of time against anybody, pretty much in the nation,” said Eddy, supplying all the Ads scoring Saturday, tallying twice within 90 seconds after a scoreless halftime tie.

Eddy “sideballed” a David Jordan corner kick in with 33:57 left, then “flicked” a Ryan Stinton free kick inside the “far post” at the 32:27 mark.

“We feel like we're the best team in the nation,” he added.

Farragut ran its season goal differential to 81 scored, only five allowed, while holding a 20-4 edge in shots-on-goal versus Bearden. “I thought we could have played a lot better ... I don't think either one of us was used to this kind of heat,” Culbreth said.

Bearden's Isaac Gwin scored in the final seconds of the game on a header.

Unlike a 5-0 loss to FHS in the regular season, “We played much better, we did what we wanted to do, our gameplan was sound,” BHS head coach Eric Turner said. “For two minutes we fell asleep.

“We don't have the margin for error, they're a deeper team than we are,” Turner added. “I think we match up well 11-on-11.”

The SoccerDawgs played the entire game without starting goalkeeper Will Noggle, injured in pre-game warm-ups after being hit in the face with a practice shot.

The BHS career of Patrick Harmony, All-state midfielder who suffered a concussion late in the first half and did not return, is over.

“Harmony’s out for the rest of the year,” Turner said, adding he might risk “permanent brain damage” with another concussion.

Down to its third-string goalkeeper, Bearden saw junior keeper Sean Yoder “do a really good job,” Turner said, adding, “our defense was stellar.”

Jamie White, starting goalkeeper to begin 2010, will not return due to a shoulder injury.

HVA CHAMPS

Out of the gate fast against No. 1 seed Oak Ridge at ORHS Friday evening, May 14, the No. 3-seeded Hawks got two goals each from Nick Skoda and Dalton Guzman. Justin Haskell scored early, converting a penalty kick.

Following a two-hour-plus rain/storm delay, HVA still managed to “come out focused,” head coach Michael McLean said. “It helped us to get an early goal.”

Going up 3-1 in the first half after a “beautiful” Guzman goal followed by a Skoda tally, “I don’t think it was the same Oak Ridge team after that,” McLean said.

 

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