Hornets’ stingy defense continues in victory over Rams

Bouncing back from a gut-punch 7A/6A-Central Conference loss on PKs at Conway Tuesday, the Bryant Hornets soccer team piled up six goals by five different players to dismiss the Hot Springs Lakeside Rams, 6-0, on Thursday night at Bryant Stadium.

Danny Vivar had two goals to lead the onslaught as the Hornets notched their 10th win of the season in 12 matches. They’re 2-1 in league play and 0-1 against 7A members of the conference. They’ll take on another 7A conference rival at home in their next match on Tuesday, April 12. The Van Buren Pointers visit.

“That is a key conference game,” acknowledged Hornets coach Jason Hay, whose team will play a non-conference make-up match against Benton on Thursday then host a 6A member of their league, Russellville, on Friday, April 15.

The win over Lakeside was a bit costly for the Hornets who lost junior keeper Logan Valestin to injury along the way.

“It looks like he will be out at least a week,” Hay related. “Jon Sohn did a good job of stepping up and getting it done.”

Valestin, Sohn and the Bryant defense extended their shutout streak to seven consecutive matches. They’ve only allowed six goals all season and none since a 4-2 win over Valley View on March 10.

Vivar opened the scoring for the Hornets early in the contest and it stayed 1-0 until, with just 5 seconds left in the half, Martin Ramierez found the range off an assist from James Lasley.

“That was big to go into half at 2-0,” Hay said. “It was a great effort by Martin to get that in on the counter.”

Vivar added his second goal early in the second half. Krishna Gurung picked up the assist. Dawson Oakley assisted on the fifth goal, which Victor Fuentes got into the net.

“Oakley had another great rip for the sixth goal with an assist from Kobe (Ray),” Hay said.

“I’m very proud of how we bounced back from Tuesday’s game,” he added. “I know we were all still soar and tired with only one day of rest.

“It was another solid effort by our defenders and keeper,” he said. “Nathan (Suarez), Dalton (Bryant), Hayden (Ray), (Conner) Qualls, (Luke) Welch, and Logan have been solid all year and continue to improve each week.”

The Hornets’ junior varsity team has a match on Monday at Cabot and is scheduled to play against Van Buren as well.

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