Despite seeing his team capture a District 4-AAA victory over a longtime and heated rival, Bearden High School girls soccer coach Ryan Radcliffe wasn’t exactly pleased with his side’s performance.
“We just didn’t come out with enough hunger,” Radcliffe said after the Lady Bulldogs notched a 2-0 victory over Farragut Thursday, evening, Sept. 9, before a spirited crowd in Farragut Soccer Stadium.
“This just didn’t feel like a rivalry game, and we’ve had a lot of girls play in these (Bearden-Farragut) games, and I’ve played in them,” he added.
The Lady Bulldogs (10-0-1 overall, 2-0 in District 4-AAA entering this week) had six shots-on-goal over the first 40 minutes, but Farragut senior goalkeeper Caroline Ekern made six saves, as the two rivals were in a scoreless deadlock at the break.
“Credit Ekern. She’s a heck of a goalie,” Radcliffe said.
As for his team, “I challenged them at halftime and I told them that it didn’t matter that we beat Houston and it didn’t matter what we did in our tournament (the recent Bearden Invitational),” the BHS coach said.
“I told them at halftime that if they wanted to be a big team, ‘if you want to be a big player, somebody’s going to have to step up and finish one.’”
Junior forward Brinley Murphy gave the Lady Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute when she took a corner kick from Alivia Stott and promptly headed the ball past Ekern.
Murphy would score again in the 67th minute off an assist from Breana Mendoza, which proved to be enough to propel the Lady Bulldogs to victory and survive a scare from the Lady Admirals.
“We just looked at this like another district game,” Murphy said. “We knew that we had to come in here and take care of business, and that’s what we did.”
The Lady Bulldogs finished with 28 shots, including 16 that landed on goal, while Farragut (5-2-1, 0-1) had just two shots, with one on goal.
Lady Admirals head coach Kristen Lyons said, “We’re No. 4 or 5 in the state right now. Now we know how it feels to play against the best. I thought our girls played well and I thought they played hard.”