Catholic goal at the end undermines Hornets’ effort

LITTLE ROCK — A late goal by the Little Rock Catholic Rockets snapped a 1-1 tie as the Bryant Hornets soccer team suffered another 2-1 heartbreaker in 7A-Central Conference action on Tuesday night.

The Hornets, who have handed second-place Fort Smith Northside both of its losses, have now lost by a single goal to the three other contenders for the league title. It was 2-1 against first-place Conway on Tuesday, April 10; 2-1 against Cabot (tied with Northside with two losses) on April 2 and now 2-1 to Catholic, which is also locked in the second-place tie.

Early in conference play, the Rockets had edged the Hornets 3-2 at Bryant.

Tuesday’s loss dropped the Hornets to 5-4 in conference, 8-5-3 overall going into the final three weeks of the season. They play at Little Rock Central on Friday.

The Hornets scored first on Tuesday. With about five minutes left in the first half, Ricky Barrientos took a corner kick and Reese Graham headed it in.

The Rockets tied it in the final minute of the half.

“We came back in the second half and it was an aggressive game,” recounted Hornets coach Richard Friday. “Both teams were going back and forth, but we dominated a lot of possession.

“Aw we pushed for a second goal, I think the game got stretched and we opened up the middle on them,” he continued. “With three minutes left in the game, they won a header in the midfield and we didn’t transition fast enough.”

And that’s when the Rockets scored the decisive goal.

“We dominated throughout large portions of the game, but we still struggle around the goal and still continue to make mental mistakes on the defensive end,” Friday said.


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