KNOXVILLE — Hardin Valley Academy’s girls soccer team closed its weekend stay at the Bearden Invitational with a 5-0 victory over Knoxville Central Sunday afternoon, Sept. 1, at Turner-Allender Field.
The Lady Hawks (3-1-1) won two of their three matches at the annual Invitational, which featured some of the best teams in Tennessee.
“I always liked this tournament as a player and I like this tournament as a coach because you get the chance to play some of the top competition,” said HVA head coach Jessie Stephens, who was a star player and longtime assistant coach at Farragut before taking over as head coach at HVA prior to the 2018 season.
The Lady Hawks dominated the game from the outset, but Hardin Valley didn’t break through scoring-wise until the 31st minute.
Senior defender Angela Parisi took a pass from fellow senior Emily Whitley and promptly banged it into the back of the Central net.
“I think we were a little out of our class today,” said Central head coach BIll Mize, who has guided the Lady Bobcats to a pair of consecutive Section 1-AA game appearances and a Region 2-AA championship in 2017.
After halftime, the Lady Hawks turned up the heat. HVA outshot the Lady Bobcats 29-1 in the match and scored four goals on 15 shots over the final 40 minutes of the match.
Hardin Valley got goals from Kristen Stansberry (45th minute), Karly Livingston (50th minute), Whitley (59th) and Claire Palya in the 80th minute.
Beating Collierville 2-0 at HVA Friday night, Aug. 30, “I’m really excited about our season and the way that we played in this tournament,” Parisi said. “I was pleased with the win against Collierville because that was a game that we were really looking forward to.”
Hardin Valley faced the defending Class AAA state champion Lady Mustangs at Bearden Saturday, Aug., 31, dropping a 3-0 decision despite a valiant effort.
Stephens noted she’s hoping HVA plays like the teams she saw at BHS over the weekend.
“We’re trying to build a program here ourselves,” she said. “We want to be like Bearden, Collierville and Houston.
“Central is a good team too. They’ve made it to the substate the last two years.”