Lady Soccer Dogs reflect on 2013 season, look ahead to 2014


Ed Dudrick

Junior striker Ashley Seltzer breaks away from the defense in a game against Hardin Valley early in the season.

Losing to Hardin Valley in the district playoffs was not the way the Bearden girls soccer team wanted to end their season, but in hindsight, the girls still feel like they accomplished quite a bit and are optimistic about next season.

The Lady (13-6-2) Soccer Dogs lost 2-0 last week, but Bearden went out with no regrets.

“There [are] so many different things that you could take away from this season,” senior center back Mallory Denning said. “From preseason condition, it was just so evident that this team had so much heart and just the way that the girls would all just unite… These girls could just get the job done.”

Added junior striker Ashley Seltzer: “I think we could’ve gone further, but we laid it all on the line and we have no regrets.”

Even though the Lady Bulldogs run to the State tournament was cut short, the girl’s still had a very memorable season, from blindfolding the freshmen on the long bus rides to the team’s epic jam sessions. Denning and the rest of the seniors will never forget the past four seasons, in which they were blessed with to play for such an outstanding program at Bearden.

Denning said that playing for Bearden allowed her and her teammates to grow not only as teammates or as athletes, but as individuals as well.

“At the end of the four years, it was just so evident that playing Bearden soccer was so not about the actual soccer itself,” Denning said. “It was so much about the girls that I was surrounded by. … Bearden soccer is such a strong program and the fact that we can travel as much as we do and play at the high level that we do. It’s just so awesome to love a game as much as you do and be able to perform with the people that you love.”

Bearden will graduate two of its top defenders, Denning and senior keeper Katie Cottrell, leaving two crucial spots on the defense to fill on the Lady Bulldog’s roster. However, the Lady Bulldogs are returning their two top goal-scorers from this year, Seltzer and sophomore Casey Riemer.

“I think that next year will be good,” Seltzer said. “We need to find a couple of positions, but once we get those filled, I think we’ll be strong.”

Even though the Lady Soccer Dogs graduated 10 seniors this year, they were still a young, talented team, albeit inexperienced in several positions on the field.

As Bearden begins to prepare for next season, Denning said that the most important thing for the upcoming senior class to do is to be leaders on the team.

“Just do the little things,” Denning said. “Checking in on the other teammates… and it’s just definitely not a glorifying job, necessarily, to be a senior, and it’s hard because there’s a lot of responsibility, but definitely just shaking off your pride and doing the dirty work and putting off your specific needs and taking the grunt of the load for everyone else.”

Bearden’s 2014 senior class will have some big shoes to fill, but overall, Seltzer said that she is most excited about being able to play with all of her friends and hopefully make it to State.