The Bearden-Farragut girls soccer rivalry may not have the luster it once had, since the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Admirals are no longer District 4-AAA foes.
But that doesn’t mean the game no longer matters. This was evident by Farragut’s post-game celebration after a victory.
“It may not be a district game but it’s still an important game for us,” said Lady Admirals senior Eryn Hill, who scored the lone goal in Farragut’s 1-0 win over Bearden before a near-capacity crowd in Farragut Soccer Stadium Thursday, Sept. 21.
The senior tallied on a penalty kick in the 66th minute, helping FHS [9-5-0] secure its ninth consecutive victory.
Hill said she had no choice but to convert after Bearden [9-4-1] committed a foul inside the goal box.
“I knew that I had to make that kick,” Hill said after she buried the set shot past Lady Bulldogs goalkeeper Maggie Jones and into the back of the net. “Right when the whistle blew ... I put my team in my head. I got in my own world; I shot it and it went in.”
Bearden appeared to hold the upper hand throughout much of the first half. The Lady Bulldogs missed on a quality scoring opportunity when Ashtyn Glover fired the ball over the top of the Farragut net in the 22nd minute.
After halftime, however, it was Farragut that took control. The Lady Ads, managing just one shot on goal over the first 40 minutes on Abby Mink, Bearden’s starting netminder, had seven on target after halftime as the tempo of the game accelerated.
The Lady Bulldogs, which had three shots on goal in the first half, added six after the break.
“We really pulled ourselves together,” Farragut defender Chelsea Gould said. “We put our hearts into this game.”
“I don’t really know what happened. We didn’t make any adjustments,” FHS head coach Drew Payne said. “Our work rate went up in the second half. This game was never pretty, but we just kept going after it.”
“This game will always be special,” he added. “It’s the oldest rivalry for soccer in Knox [County].”
Bearden lost forward Abby Brewer to a leg injury in the 10th minute. “After Abby went down, people had the chance to step up and nobody wanted to,” BHS head coach Ryan Radcliffe said.
Farragut will host Maryville tonight [7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28], with the District 4-AAA regular-season title hanging in the balance.