MURFREESBORO — After a thrilling shootout (penalty kicks) advancement versus Brentwood in the Class AAA state quarterfinals, Bearden High School’s girls soccer team saw its season come to an end in the semifinals.
The Lady Bulldogs came up on the short end of a 1-0 decision against Collierville Thursday, Oct. 25, at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
It was the second consecutive state tournament appearance for the Lady Bulldogs (18-5-2), finishing tied for third in the state after being eliminated in the quarterfinals in 2017.
Despite the loss to the Lady Dragons, Bearden interim head coach Ally Hale said she was pleased with her team’s effort in in the midstate and throughout the season.
“Honesty, I think both teams came ready to play,” said Hale, who coached the Lady Bulldogs during the postseason and the final two matches of the regular season after Ryan Radcliffe, head coach, was placed on administrative leave. “When you get to this point of the season, it’s the best four teams in the state, so it’s about having fun and enjoying the experience.”
Bearden had another stellar season come to an end after winning the District 2-AAA regular-season title and tournament championship.
The Lady Bulldogs haven’t lost a district match since moving to the new league two years ago.
They also won the Region 1-AAA tournament, then knocked off former district rival Hardin Valley Academy 3-0 in sectional play to punch a return ticket to Tennessee high school soccer’s grand stage.
“We had a great season and I’m interested to see what we can do next year,” Hale said.
Bearden senior goalkeeper Maggie Jones made seven saves in her final high school match.
The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals after its game versus Brentwood was tied 1-1 following 110 minutes of play.
Bearden advanced by winning the shootout 5-3. Taylor Cross scored the game-winner.
“Maggie made some big saves for us and she saved some big PKs in the shootout,” Hale said.
Bearden avenged last year’s quarterfinal loss to the Lady Bruins en route to advancing.
“That was a great game for us,” Hale said. “It was good to beat them and it was a great confidence boost for us.
“We came out and got a goal in the first minute and it was a good strike by Hannah Wilson,” she added.
Wilson tallied just 41 seconds into the game for the Lady Bulldogs, who were outshot 31-8 in the match.
The Lady Dragons got 16 of their shots on frame and Jones stopped 15 of them. She also came up big in the shootout.
The Lady Dragons got the equalizer from Elle Scott in the 34th minute.