Bearden overwhelmed Science Hill in a lightning-delayed Region 1-AAA soccer semifinal Tuesday night, posting a 6-0 victory.
The motivated Bulldogs avenged a 1-0 loss to the Hilltoppers early in the regular season and improved to 16-4. They advanced to Thursday’s regional championship, where they will play host to Dobyns-Bennett.
“We watched a little film on that,” Bearden coach Ryan Radcliffe said. “That game was our first game of the season, but I guess as a high school boy that always lingers in the back of your mind. I thought all we needed tonight was to know if we didn’t win, we were going home.”
Science Hill ended its season with a 9-6-7 record.
“They were the much better team tonight, unfortunately,” Science Hill coach David Strickland said. “That’s the way it runs.”
Jonathan Meystrik scored two goals in the first half following a 45-minute lightning delay and finished with three.
Bearden didn’t waste any time in pulling ahead at the start as Evan Downen scored just 2:14 into the game. Downen broke behind the Science Hill defense after Caleb Wilkins flicked the ball off his head and beat Hilltoppers goalie Abe Adams.
Moments later, the contest was stopped because of lightning. Once the game resumed, the Bulldogs continued to pour it on.
Meystrik scored his first goal after a scramble in front of the net following a corner kick. Bearden’s first shot after the corner bounced off the cross bar.
Meystrik struck again with 16:35 left in the first half. Adams came out of the goal and the Bearden junior forward won the ball before lofting a shot with the outside of the his foot. It was in the goal before any Science Hill defenders could stop it.
Meystrik, Ty Trikones and Connor Cross added second-half goals for the Bulldogs.
Bearden controlled most of the action and dominated possession. Science Hill managed two shots on goal and both came from well outside the penalty area.
“We let the ball bounce all night and we didn’t win the first ball,” Strickland said. “If you look at their goals almost every one of them had something to do with the ball bouncing. That’s painful to me, every one of those goals.
“We had a good year. We’re losing some good seniors, but we’ll be back next year.”