After shaky start, Bryant shines at Fort Smith soccer tourney

FORT SMITH — After initial struggles, the Bryant Hornets soccer team came back to notch two victories at the annual Fort Smith Invitational Tournament at Northside High School.

Fayetteville handed the Hornets a 2-0 loss at the start but Bryant came back to defeat Catoosa, Okla., 4-1, then Little Rock Central, 4-1.

“The first half was ugly,” said Hornets coach Jason Hay, referring to the opener on Friday night. “Our legs looked bus lagged. We played better in the second half but still not what we expect.”

In the first game in the consolation bracket on Saturday, Martin Rameirez scored two goals in the second half, both off assists from Ricky Barrientos to lead the way.

“We played with a little more intensity,” Hay said. “We didn’t finish our shots in the first half.”

Still, the Hornets led 1-0 at intermission on a goal by Barrientos off a feed from Luis Lara.

After Ramierez’ second-half double, a goal by Andy Doonan off an assist by Victor Fuentes set the final score against the Oklahoma team.

Against old rival, Little Rock Central, the Hornets got two goals into the net in each half. The first came on a free kick by Krishna Gurung. Ramierez scored off a feed from Miguel Garcia to set the halftime score.

Barrientos, off an assist by Ramierez, produced the third goal before Lara found the back of the net off a feed from Conner Qualls.

Now 3-1 on the season, the Hornets are set to play arch rival Benton on the road this Tuesday, March 8.

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