Talented Bearden squad looks for more in 2016

Two years ago Bearden girls soccer upset Maryville on the road in the District 4-AAA tournament, ending the Lady Red Rebels’ season.

Last year MHS returned the favor, knocking off the regular season district champion Lady Bulldogs in the tourney semifinals at BHS.

Season over for the talented Maroon team.

With seven Bearden returning starters for 2016, none has forgotten last season’s crushing end.

“We know them personally, and they’re really fine people, but on the field we don’t like them at all because they ended our season on our field,” senior Clairity Voy, Bearden’s top returning defender, said. “When we come out against them this year, we’re going to come out so much harder and they’re not going to know what hit them.”

Gone is superstar forward Casey Riemer, an All-South honoree who set a single season Bearden girls goal-scoring record in 2015 according to BHS head coach Ryan Radcliffe.

“Having to replace her is going to be a big step for us this year,” Radcliffe added. “… It’s going to be goal scoring by committee to replace her.”

Senior All-state forward Taylor Frizen does return. “There’s going to be a lot of pressure on Taylor to put [goals] in,” Radcliffe said.

“Without Casey it’s going to be difficult, but I think we can fill her spot,” Frizen said. “I’ve got to try harder and put in more work and carry the team.”

“We’ve got some freshmen that can play. We’ll be young,” Radcliffe said.

Individually, “Abby Brewer is going to be our big freshman up top who’s going to have to step up,” Radcliffe said. “That’s a lot of pressure as a freshman to come in and fill in for Casey.”

Junior Grace Roddy also is a key Lady Bulldogs forward, Radcliffe said. “Those two are going to have to be able to support Taylor and score some goals for us.”

While Voy leads the Lady Bulldogs defense, junior Ashtyn Glover is the top returnee in the midfield. “The midfield is young but I think we’re smart and we’re quick,” Glover said. “And with Taylor up top and Clairity in back we have our leaders behind us and in front of us.”

“Those are the three players we’re going to rely on heavily this year to carry the load while we get some of these freshmen and inexperienced players transitioned,” Radcliffe said. “… They’re doing well at getting hungry and keeping that level high and bringing the younger girls along with them.

“I think the skill level’s there, especially with this freshmen class,” the coach added. “… This district isn’t friendly to anyone, so it’s just developing the freshmen and the young girls’ mentality. … To compete with the size of Maryville and with the talent level that Hardin Valley has and Farragut has.”

Also returning defensively is sophomore Emily Carlevato, an All-Region 2-AAA and All-district honoree last season. Junior Kendall Scott also returns in back.

Freshman Hannah Wilson will start in the midfield.

Junior Abby Mink returns in goal.

“It’ll be a fun year, but I think they’ll be a lot of learning curves go through,” Radcliffe said.

“Hopefully we’re there standing at the end.”