KNOXVILLE — Hardin Valley Academy’s girls soccer team had a tough stay at the Bearden Invitational late last week. But first-year head coach Jessie Stephens and the Lady Hawks learned a few things.
And Hardin Valley closed the tournament on a high note, notching a 3-0 victory over Arlington Sunday afternoon, Sept. 2, at BHS’s Bill Young Field.
“We played a tough schedule,” Stephens said. “I’m really proud of the girls. It’s like I told them, we came over here and we played the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the state. I’m not necessarily sure that they thought they could compete with these teams. They found out that they could and it was a nice way to end the tournament with a win over a good team.
“We’re getting better with every game that we play,” she added. “The girls are working hard. If we can maintain this work ethic, we’ll be successful. We competed against these teams and that’s all I can ask for.”
The Lady Hawks (3-3-1) broke a long scoring drought against the Lady Tigers. HVA got goals from Caroline Fults, Karly Livingston and Kiana Lane. Jillian O’Dell picked up an assist on Livingston’s marker.
The Lady Hawks opened tournament play Friday, Aug. 31, and dropped a 1-0 decision to Collierville. The Lady Dragons are ranked No. 2 in Tennessee.
Hardin Valley then had to answer an early wake-up call Saturday, Sept. 1, to take on top-ranked Germantown Houston. The Lady Hawks came up on the short end of a 3-0 decision against the Lady Mustangs (7-0).
Lady Hawks’ senior goalkeeper Taylor Mauck finished the match with 13 saves. “I knew that I was going to be tested today,” she said. “I think there are times when you want to get your hands on the ball and get yourself into the game. But for the most part, you usually don’t want to see very much action.”
Like her coach, Mauck said that she she’s the Lady Hawks making improvements every time they step on the field.
“We’re getting better and coach Stephens is a big reason for that. She’s changed the culture here.”
Stephens was extremely pleased with her squad’s effort against the Lady Mustangs.
“Defensively, the girls really played well,” Stephens said. “I saw some really positive things.”