A pair of shutouts on both ends of the county sent local soccer fans home happy Thursday evening.On the south side, there was no doubt Central was going to win, the only question was "Which …
A pair of shutouts on both ends of the county sent local soccer fans home happy Thursday evening.
On the south side, there was no doubt Central was going to win, the only question was "Which one?"
Turned out the host Bradley Central Bears were able to shut out Chattanooga Central on the pitch by a 3-0 tally.
"We needed a win," proclaimed Bear head coach Miguel Armenta. "We've been going against some tough teams, especially in our district — Cleveland, Walker Valley, McMinn (County) and Ooltewah.
"It's hard to compete against those guys, but we try to do the best we can with what we've got.
"We've been practicing hard and learning from some of our previous mistakes, and today it showed," he declared.
Now 4-6-1 on the season, Bradley will host McMinn Central for its Senior Night festivities on Tuesday.
In a defensive struggle, both teams got off only single-digit shots on goal, including just three each in the final 40 minutes.
"We didn't get enough shots on goal," remarked Coach Armenta. "That's been one of our problems. We aren't capitalizing on opportunities and seem afraid to shoot sometimes, but we're working on it.
"Vincent (Vaughn) took care of his job and made some good saves," he said of his senior goalkeeper, who prevented a half dozen Pounder shots from crossing the line. "Our defense played pretty well and didn't let them have a lot of shots on goal."
All of Bradley's scoring came in the opening half, with the first coming at the 10-minute mark off a corner kick.
Junior Isaac Vaughn sent the ball in front of the net and senior Chris Rivera put it home.
Playing in his first soccer season, senior Parker Johnson, a standout noseman/fullback for the Bear gridiron team, netted the other two goals for the hosts.
His first came in the 27th minute when a deflected ball in front of the net bounced high enough for him to head it over the Purple Pounder keeper and into the nylon from 10 yards out.
His second score came just before the half in the 38th minute, off a pass from sophomore Micah Howell. Johnson got the ball at the top of the penalty box and fired it just inside the left post for the match's final score.
"If he (Johnson) had started playing his freshman year, he'd be unstoppable. He's an awesome athlete and we're glad to have him out playing for us this year," Coach Armenta had said of Johnson after he provided the team's lone score against District 5-AAA regular season champ Cleveland earlier this season.
On the north end of the county, Walker Valley celebrated Senior Night by blanking Silverdale Baptist Academy on Thursday evening.
Jesus Lopez, Hugo Martinez and Leo Arntz dented the nylon for the victory, improving the Mustangs to 6-4-1 on the season.
Jaden McCullough dished out the assist to Lopez 10 minutes into the first half to open the scoring.
Tony Franco provided the key pass to Martinez to put the hosts up 2-0 at the half.
Arntz added his unassisted goal in the second half.
Mustang goalkeeper CJ Heifner picked up the shutout in the net.
Walker Valley will travel to Chattanooga School for the Arts & Sciences on Tuesday for its next match.
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