Junior Abby Brewer and the rest of the Bearden soccer team will take on rival Farragut on Thursday in what is always an emotional game.
The last matchup between the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Admirals was a 2-0 victory for Bearden that sent them to the state tournament. Brewer and Emily Carlevato scored the goals.
Since that game last season, Brewer’s game has done nothing but improve due to the third-year starter’s work ethic.
“If you watch a lot of the goals she scores, it comes down to sheer will and her work ethic,” Coach Ryan Radcliffe said. “That’s why she’s been starting since she was a freshman.
“She’s not going to give up until the ball’s in the back of the net.”
This season is Brewer’s first year as a captain, but the past two years even as an underclassman, she was still a leader for the team.
“She’s always in one way or another been a leader for us,” Coach Radcliffe said. “I think that’s what you see a lot when you watch her play; she’s going to stand out as one of the hardest workers out there.
“I think she will help us to go really far.”
Junior Taylor Cross – who has provided a lift to Bearden’s offense with four goals in the past two games – said she believes Brewer has driven her to improve her game.
“She motivates me and helps me on the field,” Cross said. “I always know I have her, and she has my back.”
Brewer, who is leading the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with 13 goals and also has four assists, has had the chance to learn from other players over the past three seasons.
“Being on the team the past couple years, I’ve gotten to see people that have gone through [the program] so I’ve gotten to step into their shoes,” Brewer said. “I know what to do because they were leaders.”
Bearden’s offense has developed into one of the stronger ones in the district, and Coach Radcliffe believes Brewer is the force that drives the team.
“I think you can notice a big difference when she’s on the field versus when she’s not, and I think the girls do as well,” Radcliffe said. “She’s a catalyst.”
The match between Bearden and Farragut will be Thursday night at 7 at home.
“Personally, I just want to do my best and go out there and try to help my team communicate,” Brewer said. “As a team, we want to work together and keep encouraging each other even if something happens and we get down.”