Lady Cats surprise Bryant girls in regular-season finale

NORTH LITTLE ROCK — The Bryant Lady Hornets’ quest to win a State soccer championship may have[more] gotten a little tougher Monday night. The North Little Rock Lady Charging Wildcats, a team that the Lady Hornets had defeated 3-0 and 3-1 in previous meeting this season, turned the tables on them this time, pinning a 3-1 loss on Bryant.

Now, it’ll depend on a game tonight between Mount St. Mary Academy and Cabot. If Mount’s Belles win, it may mean that Bryant will be a three seed at State instead of a two, and Mount could be the second seed, gaining the first-round bye that goes with it.

The girls will be back at North Little Rock’s field for the Class 7A State tournament. If they’re the second seed from the Central conference, they’ll play this Saturday at 4 p.m., against the winner of a match between the third seed from the West, Fayetteville, and the sixth seed from the Central, probably North Little Rock or Little Rock Hall. As the third seed, the Lady Hornets would open against Rogers Heritage, the sixth seed from the West, on Friday at 3 p.m.

Bryant will take a 16-9 overall record into the tournament.

“We just didn’t play well,” stated Lady Hornets coach Julie Long. “All over the field, it was probably the worst game I’ve seen us have. We weren’t gelling and playing as a team. Not one group played to their full potential.

“Usually we have certain positions that in those type of situations will pick up the slack and we just didn’t have it,” she continued. “I am not sure what the problem was, but we will try to get it fixed before State.”

Celebrating Senior Night, the fired up Lady Cats took an early lead and that goal held up at halftime. The Lady Hornets tied it at around the 15-minute mark of the second half.

“We scored off a cross from Shelby Gartrell to Tarra Hendricks,” Long recounted. “Tarra headed it in. It was a beautiful goal, probably our best goal of the year.”

It stayed tied until North Little Rock got a goal with about 10 minutes to go.

“At the end of the game I pushed everyone up and they scored again with 11 seconds left game,” said Long.

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