Bearcats’ 12th straight soccer win

Published 12:28 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

The Bainbridge High School boys’ soccer team earned their 12th consecutive win here Tuesday night, defeating the Americus-Sumter County High School Panthers 9-1 on senior night.

The Bearcats were led by senior midfielder Hal Clement, who scored a team-high five goals and assisted on three others.

The win moved the Bearcats’ season record to 12-1. As the playoffs approach, they are the No. 1 seed in Region 1AAAA South for the first-time ever.

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Clement scored the first goal in the third minute Tuesday night putting the Bearcats out front 1-0. He intercepted a Panthers pass and sent a powerful shot to the back of the net.

The advantage moved to 2-0 when Clement took a through pass from freshman midfielder Daniel Provence and sent the ball into the net crease.

The advantage moved to 3-0 when senior forward Alex Benjarano took a pass from Clement and sent it into the goal in the ninth minute.

Clement’s fourth goal of the night, which came in the 30th minute, was the result of a very skilled move on his part. He curled a corner kick just inside the post which went over the goal keeper’s head and into the net.

Benjarano increased the halftime lead to 5-0 when he converted on an indirect kick from five yards in front of the goal in the 37th minute.

The Panthers scored their only goal, cutting the advantage to 5-1, on a breakaway in the 42nd minute.

Clement and Benjarano scored consecutive goals in the 47th and 48th minute to increase the Bearcats’ lead to 7-1.

Clement’s goal came on an 18-yard direct kick from the center and Benjarano scored from the right side after receiving a through pass from Clement.

The final two Bearcats goals were scored by senior forward Brian Ordonez from 18 yards out in the 51st minute and Clement on a 30-plus-yard kick in the 53rd minute.

“We dominated the game from start to finish,’ Coach Jamie Ard said. “I would have liked for us to have passed the ball a little more efficiently and effectively, but I cannot complain with the performance and intensity these guys put on tonight.

“I have not seen that intensity in two or three games, so that was nice to see. It will be a necessity from here on out, as there are not many teams who can beat us when we are focused and playing at our best.

“It was a spectacular night for Hal Clement despite him not being on the field the whole time. He was a target that was well-marked. Alex Benjarano had a fantastic night with three goals and Brian Ordonez continued with his inspired play on the attack.

“These three guys are going to be very difficult to replace next year, but I was thrilled that they had such huge nights on senior night.

“I hope that everyone will come out the week after spring break to support us in our playoff venture. It means a lot to those guys to look up in the stands and see and hear support for what they are doing as they represent our community.”