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BHS ends 2-year state drought; Lady Irish also going
Smith’s two goals plenty in shutout of Sevier County

Cassidy Smith doubled her season goal total Saturday, and Caroline Gianeselli made a great exit in her final game at Bearden’s Bruce Allender Field.

The BHS Lady SoccerDawgs earn their first trip to the Class AAA Girls Soccer State Tournament since back-to-back state titles in 2006-2007, blanking Sevier County 4-0 Oct. 30.

This Sectional victory improved Bearden’s record to 21-1-3 heading to quarterfinal state play at Baylor School in Chattanooga Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Bearden played No. 5 state-ranked Ravenwood (14-4-6) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal (after deadline).

A win and BHS would face either No. 1-ranked Houston (17-1-2) or No. 3 Soddy-Daisy (21-0-2) in the semifinal starting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, at Baylor School.

State title game begins at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, at Girls Preparatory School.

Knoxville Catholic (17-3-3), ranked No. 7 statewide and District 4-AAA and Region 2-AAA runner-up to Bearden, joins Collierville (13-8-1), No. 4 Franklin (17-4-2) and Murfreesboro Oakland (13-6-1) in the other Class AAA state bracket.

Meagan Yoakley joined Samantha Turner, Kimble Glover, Caroline Gianeselli and Allison Daniels as senior Lady SoccerDawgs playing their final home game Saturday.

“I’ve never been there, so it’s awesome, it’s like the best feeling ever,” Yoakley said about going to state. “Not being there for two years, it’s even more exciting to get there our senior year.”

Smith, a transfer from Grace Christian Academy who filled in at forward for injured starter Kristi Granger (ankle), put Bearden on the board with her first goal. Assisted by Samantha Turner, it came with 24:37 left in the first half.

“Cassidy played great today,” BHS head coach Eric Turner said.

Smith said about going to state, “It’s really exciting because I’ve never gone to state in anything.”

The sophomore put the game out of reach with 11:28 to play, scoring from about 15 yards out following Olivia Gianeselli’s pass to make it 3-0.

Gabrielle Gianeselli made it 2-0, ending a roughly 40-minute scoring drought, weaving through SCHS defenders before scoring from about 12 yards out with 14:23 remaining.

Caroline Gianeselli scored just moments before being pulled out of the game — a way to honor all five seniors.

The senior forward took a long midfield pass from junior Christina Aponte, charged in and fired home a goal from about 10 yards out.

Caroline said about her final goal, “I didn’t know he was going to pull us seniors out, so I’m really glad that I just put myself all for that last ball, and I’m really glad that I scored on my last game here at home.”

Coach Turner said, “It worked out perfectly for Caroline, because she got the goal. I’m happy for her.”

About Aponte, Turner said, “She’s stepped in big. She played great in the Hardin Valley game [Region 2-AAA semifinal win], the Catholic game [region final win[ and now this game. She’s feeling comfortable back there.

“I thought Rebecca Stover’s the only one who played an 80-minute game,” he added. “Allison Daniels is always solid in the middle.”

Despite Bearden’s 17-4 shots-on-goal edge and 30-5 advantage in scoring chance shots, Turner said, “We missed a lot of opportunities today. But we stuck with it and ended up putting some away at the end of the game.”

Region 2-AAA runner-up Sevier County, undermanned and outplayed the entire game despite holding Bearden to one goal for more than 65 minutes, finishes its season 9-15-3.


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