Bryant boys avoid Tigers’ upset bid with remarkable comeback

File photo by Rick Nation

LITTLE ROCK — After three quick goals in the second half, the Bryant Hornets soccer team found themselves in a 3-0 hole against the Little Rock Central Tigers in a 7A-Central Conference match on Friday night at Quigley-Cox Stadium.

But the Hornets came surging back, tied the game then won it on penalty kicks in a shootout, 4-3.

Central scored “an own goal” to help start the Bryant comeback. Luis Lara followed up with a successful strike and, with four second left, Luke Welch rebounded a shot off the cross bar and headed it in to tie it up.

“It was a great comeback,” acknowledged Hornets coach Richard Friday, “but I’m really disappointed in getting in that situation to begin with.”

The Hornets improved to 6-4 in conference play, 9-5-3 overall, overcoming an upset big by Central, which fell to 3-11 and 2-8. Bryant is currently in third place in the league but still has a chance to get second place at the first-round bye at the State Tournament that goes with it.

“We were pretty good in the first half,” Friday said. “We missed a couple of good opportunities but had the game under control.

“We came out flat with no intensity in the second half and gave up those three goals in quick succession,” he recounted. “The boys showed good character coming back.”

Bryant is set to travel to Fort Smith on Tuesday to play the Southside Mavericks.


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