BENTONVILLE/ROGERS — Competing against traditional Class 7A State contenders with little rest in between matches, the Bryant Hornets soccer team impressed head coach Jason Hay despite suffering a pair of close losses on Saturday in the Northwest Arkansas Invitational tournament.
The Hornets started the day (after a Friday night game) around noon against Springdale and battled to a 1-1 tie, losing the resulting shootout 4-3. The team then got on a bus and traveled to Rogers to finish against Fayetteville, absorbing a 1-0 loss after being tied 0-0 at the half.[more]
“We basically played two games in a row with 50 minutes worth of rest between,” Hay pointed out. “It says a lot about how hard the guys worked. They played with a huge effort against Springdale and lose on PK’s then came back with little rest and played their guts out against Fayetteville.
“We had players who would almost crawl up to sub in then cross the touchline and spring back to life, not wanting to let up,” he noted. “I was very impressed by what they showed me today. I hope we can carry that attitude into Tuesday’s game with Catholic.”
The Hornets, 4-2 overall and 1-0 in 7A-Central Conference play, return to league play at home against the Rockets.
In Saturday’s opener, the Hornets played Springdale’s Bulldogs to a scoreless halftime. Springdale took the lead early in the second half but, with about 10 minutes left in the contest, the Hornets got an open shot from the 10 and got fouled. Reed Evans took the PK and drilled it to tie the contest.
It stayed that way for the rest of regulation play, forcing the shootout.
“Our game was delayed from the game before,” Hay noted. “Then our game ended late. We got done with our game then had to drive to play at Rogers. We had about 10 minutes to get ready when we got there.”
Still, the Hornets played Fayetteville’s Bulldogs evenly until a direct kick outside the 18 found the net for the only goal of the contest.