Bryant girls dismiss Cabot to retain hold on second
EDITOR’S NOTE: In this time of COVID-19, with no sports action, BryantDaily.com will be posting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
By Aaron Shuttleworth
Photos by Kevin Nagle
The Bryant Lady Hornets played the last home game of the season Thursday night against the Cabot Lady Panthers.
And they did not disappoint as they[more] posted at 3-0 win to improve to 16-8 overall and 9-4 in 7A/6A-South Conference play, protecting their hold on second place in the league.
“Overall, the girls played well,” stated Lady Hornets coach Julie Long. “We moved the ball better than we have in a while. We are just constantly trying to fine-tune some things before State.
“(Keeper Kaitlyn) Miller had some big saves at the end of the game,” she mentioned.
The Lady Hornets got on the board first at 38:53 from the leg of Shelby Gartrell. The shot came from 16 yards out and crossed over the left in to the back of the net.
At 31:39, Bailey Gartrell advanced on the goal trying to get a shot but it was stopped by the Cabot keeper. At 20:55, Tarra Hendricks had a hook shot just go over the goal to the left.
London Abernathy was doing a great job keeping containment and pressure off Miller. Katie Moore, Shelby Gartrell and Lexie Balisterri were playing in the midfield keeping the ball on the Cabot side and advancing the ball up into the forward players.
At 7:21 Madison Land and Bailey Gartrell were working as a pair getting past two Lady Panther defenders. The Cabot keeper left the box and tried to advance on the ball but Land distracted her and passed it over to Gartrell, who popped it over the keeper and into the back of the goal as she went down for a futile sliding save attempt. The score was 2-0.
At 3:46, Katie Moore sent in a hard shot but it went just wide to the right.
At the start of the second half, Hendricks took a shot that was stopped by the Lady Panther keeper but it squirted out from underneath her and it almost went past the goal line. The keeper really had to scramble for the ball.
Dylan Vail almost put a point on the board at 34:58 but it was defected by a Lady Panther player. Balisterri took the ball 26 yards up the middle through traffic and shot but it was no good.
Back on the other side of the ball when the defense needed to be there, Lyndsay Brazil and McKenzie Adams were there to get the ball back to the front line of the Lady Hornets.
At 20:10, Lauren Reed took a shot from 50 yards away that just hit the top of the net. The whole crowd ‘ohhhed’ at the same time. Had it been 51 yards it would have been hard for the Lady Panther keeper to get that high to stop it.
Hendricks put one in the back of the net at 7:10 from an arcing shot over the keeper from 28 yards away giving the Lady Hornets a 3-0 lead.
The score would stay that way because of the great midfield play and defense of the Lady Hornets. Ashlen Baughtman and Kaitlin Gaiser were there to always get the ball out of harm’s way. And when a ball did get past, Abernathy was there.
At times, it was easy to forget the Lady Hornets even had a keeper. When I look over and see Miller, I always get the vision of a Little League baseball player in left field, just standing there knowing she is not going to see the ball much because of the girls in front of her do their job so well. And, when the ball does get through to her, she is there to do her job. She ended the night with four saves.
The Lady Hornets now go to North Little Rock to face the Lady Charging Wildcats on Monday night. That will give them a taste of the field since that is were the Class 7A State tournament is being held starting May 13.