Hawks stayed perfect in district after win at Lenoir City

LENOIR CITY — Hardin Valley Academy’s boys soccer team survived a tough District 4-AAA road test recently when it left Loudon County with a 3-1 victory at Lenoir City Thursday, March 29.

The Hawks held on to their share of first place in the district standings, but HVA head coach Nick Bradford said the win didn’t come easily for his squad. He also noted the host Panthers came in with an extra spring in their step after tying the Hawks at HVA last sesaon.

“Lenoir City is a good team,” Bradford said. “I really think that they’re going to sneak up and surprise somebody. They have talent and I know that they’ve gotten some results this year. I think they beat West this year.

“I also think they came in ready to play. And I think they came in with something to prove since they played us to a tie last year.”

The Hawks (3-1-3 overall, 3-0 in 4-AAA) scored first only to see Lenoir City pull even.

“They got a tying goal against us, but I liked the way we responded after they scored,” Bradford said. “We came back and we scored two goals after they tied it up. I was really pleased with that.”

The Hawks got a pair of markers from Daniel Guthrie and another tally from Adam Grigsby. Parker Molen was credited with an assist in the match.

Hardin Valley faces a tough challenge this week, as they head to the Bearden Invitational this weekend.

In addition, the Hawks played the Bulldogs on the road Tuesday, April 3, but results were not available at deadline.

The Hawks will play Arlington starting at 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 6.

HVA will play Central Gwinnett (a top team from Georgia) beginning at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 7.

They close out their stay at Bearden versus defending Class AA state champion Greeneville at 9 a.m., Sunday, April 8.

The win at LCHS “sets us up in good shape for the upcoming week,” Bradford said. “We’re playing pretty well, but we have a hard, tough week ahead.

“We have a lot of ties this year. We have three draws and that’s a result of the fact that we need to tighten things up on defense a little bit,” he added. “And we’ve also had some chances we couldn’t quite put away.”

HVA’s latest draw came at home against Christian Academy of Knoxville on Tuesday, March 27 and Bradford said that the 2-2 game was tough to take.

“We gave up a tying goal late,” he said. “We played well but that CAK game felt more like a loss. That was a game between two good teams.”