Dawgs strike quick, get stellar keeper play to win 4-4A tourney title at HVA

HARDIN VALLEY — Using a defensive mistake to punch in a goal less than six minutes into the match (Ahmed Dkhiri), Bearden quickly jumped ahead of District 4-4A rival Hardin Valley Academy 2-0 in this 4-3A tourney title game. A nice crossing pass from Lucas Ford that Aidan Ainsworth headed home from 10 yards out came less than three minutes later.

“I think it was a lesson for the kids ... getting down that quick,” HVA head coach Ray Dover said about a 3-1 SoccerDawgs win at HVA Friday evening, May 10. “It took a while in the game to re-calibrate and get back into it.”

Both Dover and BHS head coach Ryan Radcliffe pointed to the stellar play of Bearden junior goalkeeper Logan Nelson. “Logan Nelson, how big was he tonight?” Radcliffe said, as Nelson stopped penalty kicks in two straight tourney games, including a 3-0 home win versus Farragut Wednesday, May 8.

“I’d say their goalkeeper was the player of the game,” Dover said about Nelson.

About the early goals, “that just set the tone,” Nelson said.

After Nelson stopped a Hawks penalty kick in the 75th minute, the SoccerDawgs (16-2-1) added a final tally when Ford scored off a pass from Shawn Spencer in the 79th minute.

Ben Brophy would score the lone Hardin Valley goal on a penalty kick with one minute remaining.

The Hawks (17-2-1) traveled to Oak Ridge to play the District 3-3A champ Wildcats Tuesday, May 14 (after deadline). Bearden hosted 3-3A tourney runner-up Halls May 14.