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Bengals open PD with win
Girls soccer: Bassett 1, Tunstall 0
Bassett's Julia Teague, left, fires a shot while Tunstall's Maddie Hughes tries to disrupt her during the Bengals' 1-0 victory on Friday at Bassett. Teague scored the game's only goal on the shot. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
The Bassett girls soccer team opened its 2012 Piedmont District schedule the same way it closed 2011: with a nail-biting, one-goal victory over Tunstall.
Julia Teague snuck behind the Trojans’ back line to score in the 64th minute, and the Bengals (4-3, 1-0 PD) got an early leg up in this year’s PD standings with a 1-0 win on Friday at Bassett.
“We thought this win was very important to state our intentions for the rest of the Piedmont District,” Bassett coach Matthew Beaton said. “We knew Tunstall was one of the better teams, and everyone really wanted this game after they took the regular-season crown last year.”
Before falling to the Bengals in last year’s PD tournament final, the Trojans went undefeated in district play and snapped Bassett’s three-year streak of regular-season titles.
And 24 minutes into the second half of their first meeting with the Bengals this season, it appeared Tunstall was on the verge of doing it again.
Following intermission, the Trojans dominated possession in the midfield, registered seven shots and sent a number of through balls into the box to keep BHS keeper Alvalous Barbour busy — and a little anxious.
“I was very nervous. They kept kicking the ball to me, so I had to go out and get them,” said Barbour, who made five saves. “Some of those were coming pretty fast toward me.”
But all that attacking left the Trojans vulnerable to a counter attack, and the Bengals capitalized following a failed Tunstall foray into the Bassett offensive third.
Before the Trojans could reassemble their defensive shape, Bassett forward Madison Rogers lofted a long ball toward the right side of the goal that barely cleared the Tunstall back line and found the foot of Teague.
Trojan keeper Jordan Moorefield initially came off her line to try and clear the ball away herself, but she hesitated once Teague gained possession about 10 yards from goal.
That split-second was all Teague needed, and she chipped the ball over Moorefield’s head and to the far post.
Teague’s goal was Bassett’s first shot of the second half.
“Both defenders went up to head it, and it went back over both of them, so I just sprinted in, and here comes the goalie at me,” Teague said. “I was just thinking in my head, ‘Don’t freak, don’t kick it right at her.” So when I kicked it, I looked for the corner net, and that’s where it went.”
But even after jumping into the lead with a little more than 15 minutes to play, the Bengals knew their work was far from over.
“It felt amazing, but I wasn’t trying to celebrate yet,” Teague said. “I was like, ‘We need to finish this next 15 minutes before I can celebrate.’”
Instead of inspiring the Trojans come even harder at Barbour and the Bengals’ back line, however, the goal had the opposite effect.
The Bengals began to gain a better share of possession in the midfield, and Tunstall was only able to get off two shots the rest of the game.
Bassett had the best chance the score in the final minutes after Nicole Shelton earned a free kick just outside the box. But her free kick clipped the ground a few times and bounced directly to Moorefield, who scooped it up easily.
Shelton also took a free kick for the Bengals in the first half that hit the crossbar.
“Soccer’s kind of a funny game. Most goals are scored within minutes of each other,” Beaton said. “It’s important once you score a goal to refocus and try and go out there and get another one. Once you score on them and break the deadlock, they’re worried and they’re trying to force it up, so it’s a good time to counter attack.”
Both teams finished with an identical five shots on goal, but Tunstall outnumbered Bassett in corners 5-2.
The Trojans’ best chance came in the 12th minute of the game, when senior Courtney Mustain took a free kick from about 35 yards out. Barbour easily got in position to stop Mustain’s attempt, but she bobbled the save and spilled it back into the field of play.
The ball trickled toward Tunstall forward Sarah Shirey, but Barbour rebounded from the mistake to deflect Shirey’s blast wide of the net.
The Trojans created a few more frantic opportunities in front of the net as the game progressed, but the Bengals’ back line proved adept enough to get it out of danger’s way each time.
“We had more than enough opportunities. It was everything I thought it was going to be,” Tunstall coach Marc Parrish said. “These are two very good teams. … Little disappointed we didn’t finish more of our opportunities, but that’s soccer.”
Bassett 1, Tunstall 0
T 0 0 — 0
B 0 1 — 1
64:51: B — Julie Teague goal
Shots on Goal: Bassett 5, Tunstall 5. Corner kicks: Bassett 2, Tunstall 5.