published Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Christian header wins for Bears

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Miles Christian has been the offensive leader for the Bradley Central soccer team all season, and Monday’s District 5-AAA matchup against Cleveland was no different.

Christian headed in the game’s only goal with about nine minutes to play, as the Bears got their first win over their crosstown rivals since 1998.

Bradley (7-2-2, 3-2) can clinch third place in the district tournament with a win over Ooltewah tonight, but a loss would mean fourth place and another date with the Blue Raiders in the first round of the tournament Saturday.

Christian’s late goal came off a throw-in from Jordan Steels.

“Miles is just a great player,” Bradley coach Tucker Blackmon said. “He’s always going to do magic for us.”

The Bradley defense was equally important, limiting the quality chances for the Raiders, who controlled most of the contest and outshot the Bears 10-7.

The tandem of Caleb Arrowood and Ramon Gomez combined for 10 saves for the Bears.

“We controlled large portions of the game, but we couldn’t finish,” Cleveland coach John Brose said. “They had a real good opportunity, and Miles took advantage of it.”

Cleveland, the two-time defending district champion that made four consecutive state sectional appearances and back-to-back state tournaments in 2008 and 2009, likely will be the fifth seed when the tournament starts.

“Cleveland is perennially one of the best teams in the state, so a win like this is huge for the program,” Blackmon said.

“I couldn’t be prouder.”

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/gh3sports.

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