Bearcats soccer team edges Central

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Bainbridge High School Bearcats edged the Thomas County Central High School Yellow Jackets 5-4 in an important Region 1-AAAA game Friday night at Centennial Field.

They went ahead 1-0 when Joshua Rivera got away a low driving shot from the top left corner of the penalty box that went into the bottom-right corner of the goal.

Their advantage increased to 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Louis Mejia converted a penalty kick.

At the 10-minute mark of the first half, the Yellow Jackets cut it to 2-1 on a penalty kick of their own.

Mejia converted another penalty kick after Emilio Hernandez was fouled in the penalty box, putting the Bearcats out front, 3-1.

The Yellow Jackets scored the next two goals to pull even 3-3.

In the 74th minute, Daniel Provence, who had not played most of the game due to a nagging foot injury, took a pass from Hernandez, and played it right over the goalkeeper’s outstretched fingers and into the net, putting the Bearcats up 5-3 at the time.

The Yellow Jackets concluded the scoring with a last gasp goal in the 79th minute.

Coach Jamie Ard said he was especially pleased with his team’s hard attacking play.

“A couple of freshmen really stepped up for us against Central,” Ard said. “Freshman Michael Bush really came up big for us. He is not very experienced, and he was asked to play a very important midfield on a pretty big stage. He really came through for the team and I am very proud of him.

“Freshman Emilio Hernandez has really been pressing hard for goals, but against Central he came up huge and put us ahead after they pulled even.

“He also picked up fouls in the penalty area, which led to Louis Mejia’s penalty shots.

“Overall we had a great team performance under pressure against Central. We put ourselves in bad positions sometimes, but we never gave up. We refused to lose, and that says a lot about the character of our team.”