Bryant girls manage to get past Van Buren, 3-1

By Aaron Shuttleworth

Tuesday night's game against the Lady Pointers was bittersweet for the Bryant Lady Hornets. They came away with a 3-1 win, but it revealed some holes that are within the team.

There was a new keeper in the the box for the game. Lauren Reed filled in for Kaitlyn Miller who is nursing a sore shoulder but is scheduled to make the return for Thursday night’s game at Russellville. Reed did a good job, letting only one ball pass her on a penalty kick. She finished with three saves.

Defenders London Abernathy, Lexie Balisterri, Erica Selig, and Emily Smith were able to keep Reed out of trouble. But there was not that much time spent on that end of the field. Lyndsay Brazil had a great stop inside the six-yard box in the first half.[more]

Most of the game was spent on the Van Buren half. This is where it becomes bittersweet. Eighteen shots were taken against the Lady Pointers’ keeper. With only three making it to the back of the net, that is where the problem lies.

The pressure and the intensity were there all night. The Lady Pointers seemed to be one step behind all night. But "finishing" has to occur.

Freshman McKenzie Adams had a pair of goals. The first came at 31:57 in the first half. The second came at 15:18 of the second half from 30 yard away.

Katie Moore had a goal at 14:35 in the first half.

At 7:59 in the first, a Lady Pointer was given a red card for aggressively advancing over the back of Tarra Hendricks after being warned for it beforehand. That Lady Pointer does not realize that a red card is better the facing off against Hendricks.

So with a red card against Van Buren, they had to play the rest of the game a player down.

Madison Land did a good job keeping up the pressure, taking a couple of shots. Shelby Gartrell and Kristin Tipton were also in there.

There is no team in the 7A Central that the Lady Hornets can assume they can coast through. Hopefully, Tuesday, the Lady Hornets saw that.

Coach Julie Long was not to thrilled.

"That is not the way we should play,” she stated. “If we played like that every time we would be winless. All the credit to the Van Buren keeper, she did a good job tonight.

“I can only take 18 players with me on Thursday to Russellville,” she added. “I have no starters right now. The girls are going to have to show me who wants that spot. We're going to go hard tomorrow. They'll have to show me who wants it the most."

There’s the rub. The Lady Hornets won, improving to 9-6 overall and 6-4 in the 7A-Central Conference. But more might have been lost. This group of girls can do it. They’ve shown they can leave everything they have on the field. They have pushed, clawed, fought and wanted it more then anyone before. Now is the chance to prove it again.

Never give up, never surrender but, most of all, never think the game is won before it has started.

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