Hornets blank two opponents on the way to Cabot tourney title

CABOT — With a 2-0 win over a highly-regarded Rogers Mounties team, the Bryant Hornets[more] captured the championship of a soccer tournament in Cabot held Saturday, March 2.

The Hornets downed the host team 1-0 before taking on the Mounties, who pinned a 5-0 loss on Conway to reached the final.

In the title game, the two teams were scoreless at the half.

“Justin Travis had the first goal off a volley with about 25 minutes to go,” recounted Hornets head coach Jason Hay. “(Cameron) Furton then got a free kick in from 50-something yards out. It was a perfect ball right over the keeper’s head. It was one of the best free kicks I’ve seen in a while, right on frame.

“It was a quality win,” he acknowledged. “They could play. It was a good day.

“I was interested to see how we bounced back from the tie on Thursday,” the coach said, referencing the team’s 2-2 finish at home against North Little Rock. “Bryce (Denker) is still out (with the flu). He’s been our leading scorer for the last two years so it was important to have some guys step up today. Chase Stuart’s been hurt. We’ve had some guys that didn’t get to play much the first couple of games being forced to and they came through.”

Corey Ballew scored the lone goal against Cabot off an assist from Blake Reed. It came with only about 10 minutes left in the match.

“Slade (Lewis) had a couple of really good saves,” Hay said of his keeper. “The whole game, we had several missed shots inside the 18 and one or two around the 6. We had a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t capitalize until we finally got the one that counted then held them out.

“I thought our effort was a whole lot better than it was Thursday against North Little Rock, especially in the snow at 9 a.m. on a Saturday. It was a good reason why we practice when it’s cold and wet outside during the off-season, to get ready for the real games like that. It was cold.”

The Hornets return to action this Thursday when they open play in the South Conference at Pine Bluff. 

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