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Daniels dandy as Bearden edges KCHS for 4-AAA title
Turner ties Porter for Lady SoccerDawgs career goals mark


Still irritated that Knoxville Catholic provided Bearden its only loss during the girls soccer regular season, the Lady SoccerDawgs hardly needed further motivation.

Well, they got it — intentional or not.

“They took our side of the field in the first half [based on pre-game warm-ups], and I think that motivated us a ton,” said BHS junior midfielder Olivia Gianeselli, whose Lady SoccerDawgs edged KCHS 3-2 to win District 4-AAA Tournament Thursday, Oct. 21, at BHS’s Bruce Allender Field.

“I think they did it on purpose, and that just really dug deep inside us and gave us that extra push that we needed,” she added. “Before the game we were all talking about it.”

Bearden, No. 2 state-ranked in Class AAA, improves it record to 18-1-3 and hosted District 3-AAA runner-up Hardin Valley Academy in a Tuesday, Oct. 26 Region 2-AAA semifinals (played after deadline).

A win Oct. 26 means Bearden would host the Region 2-AAA title game beginning at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, Oct. 28.

“We had never lost to Catholic since I had been on the team, and losing to them [4-3 at BHS Oct. 7] pushed us so much harder,” Gianeselli said.

“And being a championship game, it just made us want to beat the crap out of them.”


Admitting his team was motivated by the regular season loss, BHS head coach Eric Turner said the Lady SoccerDawgs “played extremely well, especially in the second half. Catholic really picked it up. Two great teams battling it out.”

Catholic, No. 10 state-ranked, dropped to 15-2-3 but was missing, for most of the game, the girl who scored three goals against Bearden Oct. 7: freshman Molly Dwyer, limited with a knee injury.

Dwyer, kept out of all but a few minutes of the second half, was expected to start when the Lady Irish traveled to District 3-AAA champ Halls Oct. 26.

“She’ll be ready to go [this] week,” KCHS head coach Mark Leader said. “I just wanted her to get a bit of exercise. We need her next week.

“They’re a great team, but we played them hard and we played them well and they got the better of it tonight,” Leader added.

One Bearden goal came from a likely source, senior three-time All-state forward Samantha Turner — whose goal to tie the game in the second half also tied her for most all-time BHS career goals at 92, joining former teammate Amy Porter.

But the game’s first goal plus the eventual game-winner were products of a midfielder with only two goals on the season entering the game: senior Allison Daniels.

“I usually don’t take a lot of shots during the game,” Daniels said.

About her game-winning, sharp-angled, low line drive shot from about 20 yards, “I just figured I’d try and cross it, and it hit back post. I was excited.”

Turner said Daniels “has played awesome all year, she’s really been a rock for us. Today she was just eating up space in the midfield.

“I can’t say enough about her, she’s been a truly great player this year,” he added.

“Rebecca Stover, too, she did a good job tonight.”

Daniels’ nifty spin-move goal made it 1-0 at the 35:18 mark of the first half. She controlled a Kristi Granger pass right at the top of the 18-foot box, spun to her right and rifled a sailing shot.

KCHS goalkeeper Brianne Zimmerman seemed to control the shot after stretching high to stop it, then catching the ball. But the reference ruled Daniels’ shot broke the plane of the goal.

According to Bearden statistics, BHS held a 15-8 edge in total shots in the first half, and a 5-3 advantage in shots-on-goal.

However, the Lady Irish tied the score by halftime.

Abby Leake charged up the right side and fed Kathryn Culhane near upper right corner of the box, where Culhane quickly found the breaking, and open, Reece McKenzie on the left side near the goal. McKenzie’s toe-tap goal evened things with 8:16 left in the half.

Catholic broke ahead early in the second half — if only for a few seconds.

Culhane dribbled her way through the BHS defense on the right side, then fired a bullet shot past BHS goalkeeper Katie Emig from about 15 yards out in the seventh minute.

Culhane said her Lady Irish “knew it was going to be a battle, and they’d try to come back and beat us and play even harder.”

Leader said Culhane “played very well,” adding that “Erica Miller played very well in the back, she kept it all together.”

The Lady SoccerDawgs immediately responded to tie.

Bearden charged upfield where Caroline Gianeselli’s shot from about 10 yards out deflected to Turner, who tapped in the open rebound with 33:03 to play.

About the alleged “fieldgate” controversy, Turner said, “I don’t know if they did it on purpose or not.”





Three serious Lady Irish scoring attempts were turned back late.

A sharp-angle shot from about 20 yards out from Leake was bobbled, but eventually controlled by Emig with 22:35 remaining.

A lead pass to a sprinting McKenzie became a race between her and Emig in front of the net — with a Catholic goal at stake. Emig’s sliding hustle barely beat McKenzie to the ball near the top of the box with about 19 minutes to go.

Emig’s diving save prevented Culhane’s second goal, and the game-tying goal, on a sharp-angled shot from the right with 58 seconds to play.

 

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