Bryant boys earn first bid to State final with shootout win

Photo courtesy of Nikki Funk

CONWAY — The Bryant Hornets won their first State championship in football late fall. Why not in “futbol” this spring?

Well, the Hornets will get that chance as they advanced to the Class 6A State soccer title game with a victory over the Rogers Mountaineers on Saturday at Conway High School. Bryant, the 6A-Central Conference champion, will take on 6A-West Conference champion Springdale in the finals next week at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Day and time will be announced on Monday.

The Hornets and the Mounties played to a scoreless deadlock, often in heavy rain. After two overtimes, it went to a shootout with Jonathan Giron finalizing Bryant’s win with the fourth successful PK.

“It was a tight game and both teams had chances,” said Hornets head coach Richard Friday, who was voted Coach of the Year by his collegues earlier this month. “Codi Kirby made a phenomenal save on a set piece and their keeper made a great save from Brandon Delgadillo.

Along with Kirby, the Hornets’ stalwart defense included Jonathan Giron, Carlos Gaytan and Thomas Bullingtson with help from Landon Nelson.

“Carlos and Thomas had a great game,” Friday said.

After the two sudden death overtimes, Kirby made a save on the first Rogers PK. Delgadillo, Henry Terry, Bullington then Giron each found the back of the net to ignite the Hornets’ celebration.

Now 16-2-2 overall, Bryant has won 14 in a row. Springdale, which beat Bentonville, 3-0, in the other semifinal on Saturday, is 17-2.

CLASS 6A STATE TOURNAMENT

2019 boys soccer

At Conway

Thursday, May 9

Game 2 — Van Buren (11-9) (West 4) 6, Fort Smith Southside (6-12) (Central 5) 1 

Game 4 — Bentonville West (10-9) (West 6) 1, Little Rock Catholic (13-5) (Central 3) 0

Game 6 — Conway (10-9-1) (Central 4) 2, Springdale Har-Ber (10-9) (West 5) 1

Game 8 — Bentonville (12-6) (West 3) 9, Cabot (5-12-2) (Central 6) 0

Friday, May 10

Game 9 — Bryant (14-2-2) (Central 1) 2, Van Buren (12-9) 1

Game 10 — Rogers (14-5-2) (West 2) 1, Bentonville West (11-9) 0, OT

Game 11 — Springdale (15-2) (West 1) 2, Conway (11-9-1) 1

Game 12 — Bentonville (13-6) 4, Fort Smith Northside (15-5) (Central 2) 3 

Saturday, May 11

Game 13 — Bryant (15-2-2) 0, Rogers (15-5-2) 0 (SO, Bryant 5-4)

Game 14 — Springdale (16-2) 3, Bentonville (14-6) 0

Championship game

At University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

TBA

Game 15 — Bryant (16-2-2) vs. Springdale (17-2), TBA

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