CABOT — For about three-quarters of the contest, the Bryant Lady Hornets appeared to have taken the measure of the Fort Smith Southside Lady Rebels in the first round of the Class 7A State soccer tournament on Friday.
Bryant had taken more shots, gotten one by Haley Montgomery into the net and were on track to record their 10th shutout of the season.
But Southside tied the game with about 20 minutes left on a goal by Ashley Cochran, took the lead in the 72nd minute on a goal by Emilee Cole and held on for the win that ended the season for the Lady Hornets. The Lady Rebels (10-9-2) advanced to play Central champion Conway on Saturday. Bryant's season ends with a 12-9 overall mark.
CABOT — After battling for 100 minutes (regulation plus two overtimes) to a scoreless tie, the Bryant Hornets and the Cabot Panthers went to an old-fashioned shootout to decide their final regular-season contest. Cabot hit four goals to Bryant's three on penalty kicks and thus survived with a 1-0 win in a game that was a bittersweet example of the Hornets' season in 2009.
In girls action, the Lady Hornets tuned up for State with a 1-0 win over Cabot's Lady Panthers improving to 12-8 overall and 6-8 in the league. They'll be the No. 5 seed from the 7A-Central Conference, opening State on Friday, May 1, at 1 p.m. against the fourth seed from the 7A-West back at Cabot.
"I was able to rest most of my starters for more than half the game," noted Lady Hornets coach Doug Maxwell.
The lone goal was a header by Haley Montgomery off a corner from Maggie Hart.
The Hornets' contest proved to be a gut-check with one defender out of action to start the game and a starting wing lost in the first few minutes due to injury.
LITTLE ROCK — "I remember why I disliked Monday ballgames so much," declared Bryant Lady Hornets head soccer coach Doug Maxwell. "We came out flat, just really kind of dragging and disorganized. It looked like we hadn't played in a while."
Both the Lady Hornets and the Hornets took it on the chin Monday at Little Rock Central, both by 5-1 counts. Central comes to Bryant tonight for Senior Night before the regular season wraps up on Thursday at Cabot.
"We held out pretty good for the first 30 minutes," Hornets coach Jason Hay mentioned of the boys game.
But the Tigers got two quick goals at that point and added another in the final minute to take a 3-0 lead at the half.
"We got on the board in the middle of the second half on a cross by Forrest Fowler and goal by Petey Alverio," Hay related.
Central added two goals to finish out the win, however.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Bryant Lady Hornets locked down the No. 5 seed from the 7A-Central Conference to the Class 7A State Tournament in Cabot with a 1-0 win over the North Little Rock Lady Cats on Thursday.
It was the Lady Hornets' fifth consecutive shutout and eighth of the year as they improved to 11-6 overall and 5-6 in league play going into the final week of the regular season.
Bryant visits Little Rock Central, one of three teams vying for the conference championship (along with Conway and Mount St. Mary's), on Monday, April 20, then host the Lady Tigers on Senior Night on Tuesday before finishing up at Cabot on Thursday, April 23.
Katie Moore accounted for the long goal of the evening, scoring off the ricochet from a shot by teammate Amber Moskow midway through the second half.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The scoring struggles of the Bryant Hornets continued on Thursday, April 16, as the North Little Rock Charging Wildcats kept them off the board in a 2-0 win.
The contest was scoreless with less than a minute to go in the first half. That’s when North Little Rock managed its first goal, taking momentum into the break.
The Wildcats added a clinching goal with around 20 minutes left to play in the second stanza.
“It was the same story,” commented Bryant head coach Jason Hay. “We played hard and had two small mistakes that cost us big. We had some shots on goal and moved the ball well but didn’t get one in.”
The Hornets will try to break through a four-game scoring drought on Monday at Little Rock Central. On Tuesday, they’ll host the Tigers for Senior Night before concluding the season at Cabot on Thursday, April 23.
“We’re looking to try to finish the season on a positive note next week,” Hay mentioned. “It’d be great for our seniors and would create some momentum for our young guys and the promise they’ve shown.”
BRYANT, Ark. — Bigger, faster, stronger, more experienced — after winning their first five games of the season, that's what the Bryant Hornets soccer team found when it entered play in the rugged 7A-Central Conference this year. And the story was the same on Tuesday, April 14, when they took on the Cabot Panthers.
Rugged is also a pretty good description of how soccer is played in the 7A-Central Conference and Tuesday was no different.
The Hornets, however, hoping to gain the inside track to clinching the league's sixth of six bids to the Class 7A State Tournament, battled through the adversity and played the Panthers evenly for two halves, one overtime and some of a second before losing yet another heartbreaker 1-0.
BRYANT, Ark. — There's nothing like controlling the ball on your offensive end to help your defense. The opponent can't win if it doesn't score and it can't score if it doesn't have the ball.
That's been a formula for success in recent games for the Bryant Lady Hornets and it proved out on Tuesday, April 14, when they shut out the Cabot Lady Panthers, 2-0.
It was the fourth straight shutout for Bryant including the three games in their run to the championship of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational in Jonesboro on Saturday. It's their seventh of the season as they've posted a 10-6 overall record. They're 4-5 in the 7A-Central Conference with three of their losses by one goal.
JONESBORO — The Bryant Lady Hornets shut out all three of their opponents on their way to capturing the championship of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational soccer tournament at Joe Mack Campbell Park on Saturday, April 11.Bryant captured the title with a 2-0 win over 7A-Central Conference rival North Little Rock.
They opened the tournament with a 9-0 romp against Marion then advanced to the championship game by edged Valley View, 1-0, after Valley View upset a strong Searcy team in the opening round.
JONESBORO — An early red card in their second round game at the Northeast Arkansas Invitational left the Bryant Hornets short-handed against the Searcy Lions on Saturday. Though they battled to a scoreless tie the rest of the half, the Hornets were victimized by three Searcy goals in the second half that proved decisive.
Searcy went on to win the tournament championship with a 1-0 win over North Little Rock.
The Hornets came back to play the host Jonesboro team in the third-place game and the two teams dueled without a goal until the Hurricane managed to get shot from around the 18 to go in with about five minutes to go to forge the 1-0 victory.
Bryant had opened the tournament with a 3-0 win over Bolton, Tenn., to snap a four-game losing streak.
The Hornets 7-10 overall this season, commence an important week of 7A-Central Conference action when they host Cabot on Tuesday, April 14. On Thursday, April 16, they’ll travel to North Little Rock in hopes of duplicating their 3-1 win over the Charging Wildcats on March 17.
Bryant and Cabot have yet to play this season due to a rainout on March 12. They’ll play again in Cabot to finish the regular season on Thursday, April 23.
BRYANT, Ark. — There's an unwritten rule among officials of all sports that says, "late in a close game, let the players determine the outcome." And, under the best of circumstances, that's admirable. Unfortunately, there are times when those officials are so intent on adhering to that unwritten rule, they stop enforcing the written ones.
On Thursday, April 9, the Bryant Lady Hornets were scrambling to get a tying goal against the 7A-Central Conference's unbeaten first-place team, the Conway Lady Cats. The final minutes were ticking away and, in the midst of the action a Bryant player was knocked down. There was no call as the frantic play continued in front of the Conway goal.
Time ran out. Conway survived, 2-1, and the Lady Hornets absorbed another gut-wrenching conference loss, their third by one goal, the most recent one prior to Thursday had been on Tuesday, April 7, when Bryant's comeback from a 3-0 deficit fell short in a 3-2 loss to Russellville.
Though the Lady Hornets dropped to 6-6 overall and 3-5 in league play, they've had a chance to win all but one of those conference losses.