Bryant perseveres for momentous win over Lady Cats

CONWAY — Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over the Conway Lady Cats was the 11th win in 11 games for the Bryant Lady Hornets soccer team. The shutout was their 10th. They’ve still allowed just one goal all season.

Beyond that, however, it may have been the team’s biggest victory of the season so far as they strive to repeat as Class 7A State champions.

Primarily, it’s significant as the first win against a 7A member of the 7A/6A-Central Conference. Only matches against 7A league foes count toward qualifying and seeding at State for the Lady Hornets (a situation that, thankfully, is in its final season with reconfiguration of the conferences set for the 2016-17 season).

In addition, the win was another accomplishment that this year’s team has achieved for the first time. As they did by winning both of their early-season tournament titles, the Lady Hornets won for the first time, under head coach Julie Long, at Conway.

Bryant’s Caroline Campbell scored both goals, giving her eight goals over the last three matches. Freshman Mary Catherine Selig assisted on the first goal. It came with 19:20 left in the first half. It stayed 1-0 until Campbell found the range again at the 10:32 mark of the second half, off an assist by senior Kendall Selig.

“Overall, we didn’t play our game,” stated Long. “But, even when we have been off this year, these girls still figure out a way to win and I feel like that says something about them.”

The Lady Hornets launched 26 shots and allowed Conway to attempt just four. Keeper Brittney Warner had a save on one of those tries.

“We have to keep pushing forward and not take steps backwards,” Long asserted. “So that’s going to be our focus for our upcoming week. We have a very hard week ahead and I feel like it will be a great test for us to really see where we’re at.”

Bryant is set to play a non-conference match at Cabot on Monday, April 11, followed on the next night by a home league match against another 7A rival, Van Buren. On Friday, the Lady Hornets host Russellville. Saturday, they will meet Fayetteville halfway for a contest in Russellville, a rematch of last year’s State final.

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