Late goal by Seaman keeps Bulldogs unbeaten

KNOXVILLE — A late goal from a junior midfielder helped the Bearden High School boys soccer team keep its perfect record intact Saturday night.

T.J. Seaman scored the game-winning marker in the 77th minute to lift the Bulldogs past Webb School of Knoxville in the Bearden Invitational at Bruce Allender Field.

“The goal was just as crazy as the game,” said Seaman, who scored off a throw-in from Alex Garcia. “Alex had a great throw and the win was a great team effort.

“We were up. We were down. Then we came back and tied the game and then we were able to win it. Webb is a great team and we knew coming in that this was going to be a tough game. They always give us a tough game.”

Bearden (5-0) darted to a fast start and took a 1-0 lead when senior Jameson Elmore took a pass from Kelvin Garcia and buried it past Spartans goalkeeper Andrew Favaro and into the back of the Webb net.

The Spartans (2-1-1) pulled even in the 16th minute when Jeb Gary tallied the equalizer. Connor Jacobs picked up an assist on Webb’s first marker of the match.

Elmore said that he was glad to see the Bulldogs overcome a slow start Saturday night,

“We started kind of slow,” Elmore said. “But it feels great to come in and get a win over a great team like Webb. They’re a tough team.

“They may not be in our district or they may not be in our division but we expected them to come in here and play hard against us. We knew that they would come in here and play hard against us because they always do.”

Scoring opportunities were virtually non-existent throughout the rest of the opening half and but the Webb was able to cash in late in the first half.

Bearden coach Ryan Radcliffe was disappointed after the Bulldogs gave up the game-tying and go-ahead goals.

The Spartans took a 2-1 lead when Cameron Fowler scored in the 39th minute and Radcliffe was far from pleased with his team’s reaction.

“After they tied the game,” I didn’t like our body language,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with the way we finished the first half.

“After we talked at halftime, we came out and played better. It’s early in the season and this is a learning process. This was a tough game for us because Webb always battles. They battled us hard tonight. Webb is a great team and that’s why I scheduled them.”

The Bulldogs knotted the match 2-2 on a marker by Will Lewis in the 56th minute. Gabe Alvarez was credited with the assist for the Bulldogs, who won three games in the tournament. Bearden opened tournament with a 4-1 comeback victory over Gallatin on Thursday, March 31. The Bulldogs routed Hendersonville 7-0 Friday night.

Lewis noted that Bearden’s win over Webb was a team effort.

“Webb is a great team but for us, this win was an overall team effort,” Lewis said.

Spartans coach Jared Ziegler was disappointed in the loss but he couldn’t complain about his team’s effort in the match.

“This was a great physical game,” he said. “My kids played with heart. That’s what they do. We’re disappointed in the result but we had our chances.

“In the end, they were just a little better on set pieces than we were. You had two special goals in this game. Both of our second goals were special, Cameron scored a big one for us and [Lewis] had a nice second goal

for them. This is a great tournament and this can only make us get better.”