Bearden (Tenn.) delivered on a season of high expectations.
The Tennessee power repeated as Class AAA state champion this past the weekend with a 3-1 victory over FAB 50-ranked Houston (Tenn.) and with it secured this year’s FAB 50 No. 1 ranking with a 24-0 showing. Bearden is the first Tennessee girls program to finish No. 1 in the FAB 50 since Germantown (Tenn.) accomplished the feat in 1999.
The Bulldogs were led by South Carolina commit Brinley Murphy, Tennessee commit Nyla Blue, Western Kentucky commit Rebecca Roth, Liberty commit Peyton Huber and soon-to-be SEC commit Alivia Stott.
Roth put Bearden ahead 1-0 in the state final by converting a penalty kick. Murphy then scored, assisted by Jayla Blue. After Houston closed to 2-1 in the 64th minute, Breana Mendoza struck two minutes later for the 3-1 final margin.
Bearden started the 2022 preseason as the FAB 50 No. 2 team but when Mount Notre Dame (Ohio) took a tie early in the season, the Bulldogs inherited the top spot and never relinquished it, securing a second straight undefeated season. Bearden is 46-0-1 over the past two seasons.
In boys soccer, St. Benedict’s (N.J.) moved within one win of the program’s ninth FAB 50 crown since 2011. The Gray Bees defeated Peddie School 5-0 in the New Jersey Prep A semifinals. The final is set for Wednesday at NJIT against Pennington School, which St. Benedict’s defeated 2-0 earlier in the season.