Bryant improves to 2-0 with win at Jacksonville

 JACKSONVILLE — In a rugged, physical game on a frigid evening, the Bryant Hornets soccer team improved to 2-0 on the season with a 3-1 win over the Jacksonville Red Devils on Thursday, Feb. 19.

Bryant's Jonathan Lowery, right, battles a Jacksonville player for possession.

The Lady Hornets were due to open their season as well but Jacksonville's girls, it was announced, would forfeit their season. So the Lady Hornets will open at Mount St. Mary's on Thursday, Feb. 26, with a 1-0 record.

Three difference players accounted for the Hornets' goals, two of them on headers.

Most of the early struggle came in front of the Jacksonville goal.

"We had several chances in the first 20-25 minutes but weren't able to score," noted Hornets coach Jason Hay.[more]

Finally, with about 10 minutes left in the first half, the first goal came on a fastbreak by Marshawn Hood with Alex Rowlan. Soon after, Jacksonville got on the board on a corner kick that was headed in and the game was tied at the half.Marshawn Hood scored Bryant's first goal against Jacksonville.

It didn't stay that way long in the second half as, five minutes in, Jonathan Lowery headed one in off a corner kick by Tim Ezel.

The game got increasingly physical until Jacksonville drew a double yellow (the Red Devils had four in the game) and a player was ejected. Ezel, Aaron Prewitt and Tyler Salminen played through injuries and Ezel retaliated by heading in the last goal off a corner by Reed Evans to set the final score with 20 minutes left. The Hornets controlled the ball late in the game with Peter Alverio contributing.

"Tyler Salminen had a big save in the second half to prevent a goal by Jacksonville," Hay related. "The back four defenders, Tim, Tyler, Seth Howerton and Aaron, had a good game, allowing only one goal and doing a good job of stopping Jacksonville from spending much time on the attacking side of the field for most of the game. They also did a good job of getting the ball back upfield in transition."

Keeper Devin Norris had two saves.

"Overall, I thought we improved from Tuesday (when the Hornets beat Episcopal Collegiate)," said Hay who also lauded the contributions of volunteer coach Bob Williams. "But we have to play our best for a full 80 minutes."

The Hornets travel to Paragould for a tournament, opening on Friday, Feb. 20, against Marion at 7:45 p.m. 

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