Bryant girls continue to roll with 3-1 win over North Little Rock
By Aaron Shuttleworth
Photos by Kevin Nagle
Would the Bryant Lady Hornets be able to put up the kind of fight and determination that they have[more] almost every week from the start of the season, when the North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats came into the girls’ house?
The Lady Hornets’ 3-1 win improved their record to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in 7A/6A-Central Conference play. Coupled with Little Rock Central’s 1-0 win over Mount St. Mary’s, it left Bryant tied with Central for second in the league behind Conway. The Lady Hornets host the Lady Tigers in their next outing on Monday, April 18.
The action against North Little Rock started early as both teams fought for the ball and to get the early lead. Bryant’s Tarra Hendricks had two corner kicks, one at 39:11 and the other at 36:39. She had an open shot at 27:14 but it was stopped by the North Little Rock keeper. At 24:35 Shelby Gartrell tried to get the Lady Hornets on the board but her shot was stopped as well.
At 20:25, Kaitlyn Miller had her first save of the night diving to the left and stopping the ball from going in.
The Lady Hornets went back on the attack. This time, Bailey Gartrell broke away but got tangled up with the North Little Rock keeper. At 16:18, Lexie Balisterri had a nice fake on a Charging Wildcat defender, took her shot but came up short.
The first point came at 6:28 from a free kick by Hendricks from 18 yards out. When play started again and the Lady Charging Wildcats went on the attack, London Abernathy was there to use her quickness, speed and smart defending to make a play on the ball and keep the pressure off of Miller.
The second goal of the night came from Hendricks again. This time, she hit the upper left section of the goal at 3:25 from 27 yards away.
With :52 left in the half, Katie Moore had a nice assist with Shelby Gartrell, who got the ball 29 yards out and tore one through the keeper making the score 3-0 going into halftime.
Starting the second half just like the first, the Lady Hornets went right on the attack. Hendricks had a nice crossing pass to Lexie Balisterri but the shot was just wide to the left. At 29:40, Bailey Gartrell shot but the North Little Rock keeper dove to the lower left corner and saved it.
Taylor Bryant had a breakaway at 26:13 for the Lady Hornets that was close to scoring but was stopped by the keeper. Madison Land tried to sneak a shot by at 19:13.
A total of 24 shots were taken on the North Little Rock goal.
At 12:13, the Lady Charging Wildcats scored when Miller came forward and dove left. But the ball was just out of her reach.
This was the first time a team has scored on the Lady Hornets in regulation time in the past few weeks (four previous games).
At 2:22 left in the game, Miller ran 10 yards from the opening of the goal and had a sliding tackle that got the ball away form the Charging Wildcats. She ended the night with six saves.
The reason they have not been scored upon is the hustle and heart of the Lady Hornets. Bailey Gartrell ran down a girl 20 yards in front of her and cleared the ball out. When a player moves like that and can cover 60 feet in just a matter of seconds, it rubs off and other players step up their game. So when each Lady Hornet is bringing it up to the next level, there is another one that’s trying to take it to the next.
Looking ahead, the first time the Lady Hornets met Little Rock Central, they came out with a 3-0 victory. You can never underestimate a team, but when the Lady Hornets are firing on all cylinders, it’s going to take a lot to bring this train to a halt.