“We came out a little sluggish in the first half, but we came out in the second half and did what we have been working on and got more shots off,” remarked Bear assistant coach Miguel Armenta after Tuesday evening’s 3-1 victory over visiting Grace Baptist Academy.
“Coming off the loss (to Silverdale last Thursday), we just had a ‘fun day’ of practice Friday, then took Saturday and Sunday off,” he explained “We weren’t expecting to not be able to practice Monday (due to rain), so we came out a little timid.”
“The second half was more our style of play. We started attacking more and getting more shots off.”
After a 6-4 shot on goal edge in the first 40 minutes, Bradley outshot the visitors 8-3 after the intermission.
The Bears (2-1) will return to the pitch Thursday evening with a trip to Hixson to face the Wildcats.
Grace got on the scoreboard first Tuesday when a Bradley defender was whistled for a foul in the box 11 minutes into the match. The Eagles were able to net the penalty kick for their lone score of the match.
Bradley evened the score with 9:15 remaining in the opening half when Mason McHann took a pass from teammate Jace Boyd in front of the goal and was able to punch it past a pair of defenders and the Eagle goalkeeper.
The score stayed tied until the 55th minute when Aziz El-Quadi dribbled through a pair of Grace defenders in the box and sent an unassisted goal into the back of the net.
El-Quadi added the match’s final score with approximately 10 minutes remaining when he got a rebound of a shot by teammate Austin Childs and put it in the nylon. “Austin got off a good shot that deflected off the goalkeeper and Aziz was able to clean it up and put it in,” explained coach Chrissy McKinney, who is helping out with the Bears while head coach Tucker Blackmon is out of town.
“Aziz is a pure athlete and has improved tremendously,” praised coach Armenta. “He’s showing a lot of maturity in his game.”
The Bradley coaches also singled out the defensive effort of Childs, Jacob Hicks, plus Joey and Alex White.
“Austin (Childs) and Jacob Hicks played awesome defense and controlled the ball in the middle with the passes they were making,” commented coach Armenta.
“Joey White did a good job in goal and stopped everything on goal, other than the penalty kick,” added coach McKinney. “Alex White played solid defense as well. Nothing beats him on his side.”