KNOXVILLE — The Hardin Valley Academy boys soccer team did a little soul searching before its early wake-up call Saturday morning.
The Hawks had Friday night off after opening the Bearden Invitational with a 3-0 loss to Christ Presbyterian Academy on Thursday, March 31.
“We talked all day yesterday about what we needed to do to get better,” Hardin Valley’s Dylan Viera said after the Hawks got back into the win column with a 2-0 victory over Gallatin in its second game of the tournament at Bearden’s Bruce Allender Field. “We talked about finishing and we talked about getting better.
“The other night against CPA, we had the better chances but we couldn’t finish them and then we made some mistakes that really cost us.”
HVA (2-2) wasted little time getting on the scoreboard Saturday as Skylar Bailey buried a shot into the back of the Green Wave’s net in the 13th minute.
Bailey said that he thought the Hawks might struggle a bit after losing several seniors from last year’s squad after making the Class AAA State semifinals.
“I didn’t think that we would be quite as good as we were last year because we lost so many good players,” Bailey said after scoring his first goal of the season against Gallatin (2-5). “But I think if we continue to play the way that we did today I think we can have a good year.”
Hardin Valley coach Mark Patterson was pleased after his Hawks picked up a win over a young and struggling Gallatin squad.
“I’m a little happier than I was the other night,” Patterson said. “I think we played pretty well today. We had a good chat yesterday and I think that really helped us. I’m extremely proud of our boys for their effort.
“We had our chat but we also let the players share their ideas. We left it open to them.”
HVA goalkeepers Jeremy Wise and Andrew Foster combined on the shutout for the Green Wave. The two netminders have split time since last season and the formula has worked for the Hawks.
Patterson said that the success is a product of Wise’s and Foster’s character.
“We’re extremely lucky to have two great goalkeepers and they played well and we got a clean sheet,” Patterson said. “They are great players and they’re kids. They always support each other.
“You would think that there might be a rivalry between them. But there’s really not one. They’re always there for each other.”
Viera scored the final marker of the match when he tallied in the 75th minute.
The Green Wave had a goal disallowed on an offsides call in the match. Gallatin had a tough stay in Knoxville as it lost to the host Bulldogs, Morristown West and Hardin Valley.
“We’re leaving this tournament 0-3 but you can’t win a state championship this weekend,” Green Wave coach Greg Harper said. “We played a tough Bearden team and then we had some chances in our second game.
“I thought we played pretty well today and I got to see some of our young kids play. We saw some young kids who didn’t think that they were going to get to play when we came in here this weekend.”