Bradley Central added three second-half goals to a 1-0 first-half lead then held on for dear life to get a 4-3 win over the Chattanooga Patriots in the final regular-season soccer game for the Bearettes.
“It was ugly, I’ll say that. It was very ugly,” said Bradley Central coach Tiffany Walker. “We got a couple of goals and then I think some of us just got settled when we shouldn’t have been.”
“We got a couple of girls injured; a couple of our key players picked up injuries early in the game. I think that hurt, having to move people around a bit.”
After missing out on early game chances, the Bearettes found the back of the net for their first and only goal of the first half on a nice shot by Caley Jones in the 30th minute.
Bradley took a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second half on a blast by Taylor Berger after a perfect cross from Monse Rincon.
Rincon took her turn in front of the nylons on the next chance for the Bearettes, scoring on a shot by the Patriots’ keeper to make it 3-0.
The Patriots came back in the 46th minute to make it 3-1 and followed up with another goal with 17 minutes left in the game to cut it to 3-2.
Bradley Central’s Jones put the Bearettes back up by two in the 65th minute with her second goal, an arching floater from 40 yards out to make it 4-2.
The Patriots rallied back for a final score with just over 12 minutes left in the game to cut the Bradley lead to 4-3. A brilliant save by Bearette keeper Tara Blackwell with five minutes left preserved the win.
“We’ll take it. A win’s a win, and anytime we can get a win we’re happy with the results,” said Walker.
Walker said Thursday’s match was a good tune-up session for the Bearettes, who are scheduled to host Cleveland Saturday in the first round of the Region 3 tournament. Bradley Central will take on the Lady Raiders at 2 p.m. in Bear Stadium.
“Saturday I think will be a good test for us. It was a close game when we played them earlier and our girls are excited and pumped, ready to play,” said the coach. “They (Cleveland) are going to be pumped to try and get us back. It should be a good one.”