Dawgs, Spartans strong soccer state contenders

KNOXVILLE — Bearden is trying to defend its 2019 Class AAA boys soccer state title this week. The Bulldogs earned that right Saturday night, May 22, with a 3-1 comeback win over Hardin Valley Academy in a Section 1-AAA match at Turner-Allender Field.

Bearden (18-3-1) saw HVA (11-5-3) jump ahead, as Rudy Dardon converted a direct kick in the eighth minute.

Bulldog Oscar Reyes tied the game 1-1 on a bicycle kick, then Bearden took the lead for good when Ethan Ford scored in the 65th minute off an assist from senior Sharif Aly, who would put the game away with a marker in the 67th minute (Lucas Nordin assist).

“This year we’ve had guys step up for the first time and make an impact after they may have missed their sophomore and junior seasons.” BHS head coach Ryan Radcliffe said.

“I’m hoping that our guys will come back hungrier” next season, HVA head coach Jessie Stephens said.

KNOXVILLE — Webb School of Knoxville’s boys soccer team is on a quest for perfection — and a state title.

The Spartans took care of its business with a 5-0 win over University School of Nashville (7-9-2) in a State VIII match at Webb’s Morris Field.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but I don’t think we feel any pressure,” Webb head coach Jared Ziegler said.

The Spartans (18-0) took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute when Marcus Orton scored on a header. The home team led 3-0 at halftime as junior Ben Pensky scored twice (Otto Niendorff and Zach Graham assists).

Webb took a 4-0 lead on a goal by Garrett Webb in the 55th minute (Pensky assist). Luke Dolin tallied in the 63rd minute (Graham assist).

“We’ve been looking forward to this season for four years now,” Pensky said. “... We learned not to take anything for granted and we learned to play every game like it’s your last.”