KNOXVILLE — The Bearden High School boys soccer team concluded its 2021 regular season on a victorious note at home during Senior Night late last week.
The Bulldogs honored their seniors before outlasting Oak Ridge 2-0 Thursday, May 6, at Turner-Allender Field.
They have now turned their attention to the postseason, as the top-seeded team in this week’s District 2-AAA Tournament, which will serve as their swan song from the district. Bearden has never lost a regular-season or tournament match while a member of that league.
In their final regular-season match, the SoccerDawgs (13-3-1) outshot the Wildcats 21-5. Bearden had 14 shots land on target while Oak Ridge (7-5-2) managed to muster just three of its scoring opportunities on goal.
“Our finishing was the best tonight,” BHS head coach Ryan Radcliffe said. “It seems like we’ve struggled with that all year.”
The SoccerDawgs received a huge break early, as Oak Ridge surrendered an own-goal in the 28th minute.
Bearden, which controlled the tempo of the game throughout, applied pressure to the Wildcats’ back line and fired a shot on goal. On an attempt to make a save, ORHS goalkeeper Bryson Brown deflected the ball into the back of his own net.
The SoccerDawgs would extend their edge to 2-0 when freshman forward Dillion Sims fired a left-footed shot past Brown in the 66th minute.
Bearden netminder Jonathan Diaz made three saves.
“Oak Ridge is a tough team. They’re probably the toughest team that we’ve faced all year,” Radcliffe said. “They were very physical. They were able to match our physicality.
“This was a good test for us heading to the postseason.”
Because in the district (tournament), these teams are going to come right at us and they’re going to keep coming right at us.”