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Wildcats fall in first round of playoff action

Published 11:05am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In what was a tough night on the pitch for Benjamin Russell, the boys and girls soccer teams were ousted from postseason play.
The girls dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Homewood, and the boys were unable to gain any traction against Class 5A No. 3 John Carroll, which defeated the Wildcats 3-0.
The losses close the book on what were successful seasons for BRHS. The girls ended the year with the second-most wins in school history (19).
The boys ended the year with 18 victories, which tied for third-most in BRHS history.
Recaps of the games are as follows:

BRHS 0, Homewood 1 (girls)
Without top scorer Ciera Harrell and starter Ruth Anne Ballard, the Lady Wildcats found themselves on the wrong end of a defensive battle, losing 1-0 to the Homewood Lady Patriots.
The first half was back and forth with neither team able to really break through.
Benjamin Russell had a few chances for breakaways but passes usually landed in the hands of the Homewood goal-keeper.
The second half began similar to the first, but the Lady Wildcats were constantly denied clear shots on goal by the  Lady Patriots’ defense.
The Lady ‘Cats lone goal given up came off of a save from Lexi Key, which upon the rebound was put into the net by a Homewood player in the 67th minute of play.
BRHS was unable to mount many offensive threats.
The Lady ‘Cats lone glimmer of hope came in the 78th minute when senior captain Paxton Templin broke through the second level of the defense.
Her shot went into the hands of the goalkeeper.
“The girls played very hard, especially Lexi,” BRHS soccer coach Sammy Teel said. “I’m proud of what they’ve done. No one really respected this team but Homewood’s coach told me after the game that Benjamin Russell was one of the best teams his squad had played all year. (Homewood) got out of here by the skin of its teeth.”

BRHS 0, John Carroll 3 (boys)
The boys had a tougher time with their opponent as they fell 3-0.
Similar to the girls game, the Wildcats gave up their first goal when a save from goalie Blake Chappell bounced off his hands and was ricocheted back into the net.
The Wildcats gave up two more goals, both via free kicks.
“They played tough,” Teel said. “A lot of people thought that Benjamin Russell’s success was just part of a weak region. Our teams, both boys and girls, weren’t just playing to advance in the playoffs. We were playing for respect and while we didn’t move on, I think we earned respect.”
Teel, who said this would be his last season on the sidelines for BRHS soccer, added that the future looked very bright for the Wildcats.
“I know that (BRHS girls) Coach (Meghan) Bailey is going to lead these girls to great things,” he said. “Our legacy is that we will outwork you, although we may not be the most skilled. When people look on the scheduled next year and see Benjamin Russell, they know that whether they come here or we go there, they’re going to have to play some good soccer.”

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