Bradley Central hosted city rival Cleveland High School and Walker Valley was on the road at Ooltewah High as the squads tried to take the first step in making a run in the postseason.
Cleveland vs. Bradley
In a much anticipated match the Bradley Central Bearettes hosted Cleveland’s Lady Raiders for another chapter in the longtime rivalry.
While Bradley stunned Cleveland during the regular season, it was the Lady Raiders’ turn to shine as the team got some revenge by ending the Bearettes’ season with a 2-nil final.
Though sporadic all around, Cleveland did manage to gain an upper hand in possession of the ball and gained a firm upper hand on the attacking side, putting six shots on frame to Bradley’s two.
Junior Lorne Conn broke things open 10 minutes in when she took a free kick from 25 yards out after a Bearette foul. The ball was well struck and well placed, falling into the back of the home net for the 1-nil Cleveland lead.
The Raiders bookended the match in stoppage time when junior striker Hope Haas put a laser on goal that iced the match at 2-nil and ended Bradley Central’s season.
“I thought our girls fought the whole game. We gave Cleveland a good match. Cleveland took advantage of their chances and we didn’t. But, I’m proud of the way we played. We gave it everything we had,” said second-year Bradley head coach Tiffany Walker.
“Our season’s over, but we went out fighting, no regrets. We had a good year this year. It’s encouraging because we are going in the right direction.”
The Bearettes finished over .500 at 8-5-3, and had gone into postseason play as the district fourth seed, both of which are improvements on last season.
On the other side of the coin, Cleveland stays alive and gets a shot at top-seeded and defending champions the Soddy-Daisy Lady Trojans Tuesday night at Soddy’s soccer complex.
“It wasn’t the prettiest match tonight, but we were consistant and got the job done. I think we learned a little more about how to win tonight, but it wasn’t the most fundamental soccer we’ve played,” stated Cleveland head coach Andy Byrd.
“We will have to possess better on Tuesday. We don’t have an option there. We’re looking forward to Soddy though, and are hoping to get a second helping of revenge,” he said with a smile.
Late in the regular season, the Lady Trojans came to call at the Greater Cleveland Soccer Complex where they battled Cleveland back and forth for 80 minutes.
The game clock expired on a 0-all tie and the sides were forced to enter into the overtime golden goal period. Nine minutes into the overtime period Lady Trojan Megan Weller found the back of the Lady Raider net to give her team a dramatic victory, much the same way that Bradley’s Alexia Hubbard helped her team defeat Cleveland earlier in the season.
It will all be decided Tuesday night as the Lady Raiders travel to Soddy’s soccer complex for a 7 p.m. start and a shot at going to the district championship.
Walker Valley vs. Ooltewah
The sixth-seeded Walker Valley Lady Mustangs traveled to Ooltewah High School Saturday to attempt to keep their soccer season alive against the third-ranked Lady Owls.
Despite controlling a sizable chunk of possession, the Lady ‘Stangs were unable to overcome an early Ooltewah offensive onslaught, falling 2-nil and ending their season.
“It’s a little frustrating. We did step up quite a bit in the second half of this match, and I feel like we played up to our competition. But, in the end we came up a little short,” stated Walker Valley head coach Tom Bayliss after the match.
“This season is what it is. We’ll put this one behind us and put our sights on next season. We have some good young talent on the team, and some of the girls coming up from Ocoee Middle should help us.”
Ooltewah struck first in the ninth minute when Kaitlyn Kennedy put the Lady Owls on the board with a free kick at the top of the penalty area.
The home side tacked on another one five minutes later when Christina Cook notched the unassisted goal to put Ooltewah up by 2-nil, a mark that would stand the remaining 66 minutes of play.