Defense keys Lady Hornets’ win over Belles

By Aaron Shuttleworth

The saying, "the best offense is a good defense" applies to Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over the Mount Saint Mary Belles by the Bryant Lady Hornets.

"Our keeper Kaitlyn Miller really stepped up,” said Lady Hornets coach Julie Long. “She had two really big saves — huge saves. She needed that too. She came off of a rough weekend and played phenomenal, and that says a lot about her."[more]

The Lady Hornets ended 1-2 in the Northwest Arkansas Invitational tournament, losing to Fayetteville then in a shootout to Springdale Har-Ber before defeating Springdale.

But, on Tuesday, Miller could not do it alone. Tarra Hendricks had another great night defensively. Also with Lyndsay Brazil, Sarenity Gomez and McKenzie Adams. With 19:51 left in the game, Gomez made a great block from going into the net while Miller was tied up.

London Abernathy chased down a Belle forward 40 yards to stop a goal from happening.

"She stepped up huge for us tonight," Coach Long commented.

The only goal from the night came from Erica Selig at 9:07 into the game from 35 yards out on a free kick that arched just high enough the Belle keeper could not stop it. There were a total of 11 shots taken on the Belles during the game.

The win was tempered by the fact that, with :03 left in the first half, senior Haley Montgomery went down clutching her left knee. This was the first game, Montgomery had played in after the finish of basketball season. But the 30 minuets she was on the field, her presence was known. She kept pressuring the Belles keeper and causing chaos in the backfield.

"Her game speed is unbelievable," Long said.

At the half, Hendricks rallied her teammates, saying, "Haley fought hard for us for the 30 minutes she was in there. We need to pick up the slack right now and go into that second half strong.”

"The girls handled it well,” Long related. “The freshmen are going to have to be the ones who step up and fill in the gap if Haley can't come back. They can do it."

The Lady Hornets, now 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the league, will meet Van Buren Thursday for another 7A-Central Conference showdown.

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