Bryant girls run out to big first-half lead on the way to burying Central

Photos by Rick Nation

The Bryant Lady Hornets had six different players score goals and proved to be stingy on[more] defense again as they improved to 13-3 overall this season and 7-1 in the 7A/6A-Central Conference with a 6-1 win over the Little Rock Central Lady Tigers Thursday.     

Bryant has allowed no more than one goal in any of their games so far save one when Conway, the team it’s chasing in the conference standings, scored twice at a tournament in Bentonville on March 10. The Lady Wampus Cats managed two.

Since losing to the Lady Cats 1-0 in league play on April 6, the Lady Hornets have outscored three foes 15-2. Their rematch with Conway is May 1 but they’re trying to focus on each individual opponent in the meantime to make sure that game retains its meaning: A battle for first place.

They were set to play Mount St. Mary Academy on Friday but the contest was postponed due to rain and has yet to be rescheduled. They play Van Buren on Thursday, May 26, then host Russellville on Friday.

“Overall the girls played well,” said Lady Hornets head coach Julie Long of Thursday’s win. “They keep working hard to get better and it was good to see them come out hard and score some in the first half. I was pleased with their play. We have a tough stretch coming up. Right now we are just focused on playing Van Buren on Thursday and then we will go from there.”

The Lady Hornets built a 4-0 lead by halftime. Shelby Gartrell broke the ice off a feed from Katie Moore. In turn, Gartrell assisted on a goal by Lexie Balisterri who finished with a one-touch shot.

Kaitlin Gaiser found the back of the net off a cross from Bailey Gartrell then, before the half was through, she scored off a feed from Moore.

Central managed a goal near the 20-minute mark of the second half but Bryant scored twice in the last 10 minutes. Rori Whittaker’s goal came off a cross from Ashlen Baughtman then Addie Chaloupka corner kick went to Taylor Matthews who finished off the scoring.

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