SPRINGDALE — For a while now, the Class 7A State championship in girls soccer has gone through Bentonville but, in recent years, the Lady Tigers could say the same thing about Bryant.
The two teams tangled in the championship game in 2014 and last year they battled in the semifinals for a berth in the title match. Bentonville won the first of those contests, earning the 2014 State crown. Bryant won the second meeting on its way to winning the 2015 championship.
They’ll square off once again on Saturday at 10 a.m., in the same scenario as last year. To the winning goes a spot in the title match.
Bentonville advanced to Saturday’s semifinal with a 7-1 win over league rival Fort Smith Southside on Friday at Springdale High School. That came just after the Lady Hornets punched their ticket to the semi’s with a 3-1 win over Springdale Har-Ber.
Bryant jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first half and, before intermission, Har-Ber spoiled a 12-quarter shutout string for the Lady Hornets. It was just the third regulation-time goal Bryant has surrendered all season.
The Lady Hornets found the mark on three of their six first-half attempts. Senior Anna Lowery broke the seal on the goal less than 1:30 into the march off a nice assist from Caroline Campbell.
At the 27:14 mark, Britney Sahlmann, off a corner from Kendall Selig, headed one in beautifully to make it 2-0.
Campbell put the third goal on the board from the right side of the goal with 13:09 left in the half. Kara Moser picked up the assist.
The Lady Wildcats broke through with just 3:13 left in the half as Alyssa Rocco got a shot in.
The second half was mostly played in Bryant’s end of the field. The Lady Hornets launched 10 more shots but couldn’t get them to go in. The defense, however, stymied Har-Ber to secure the victory.
Bryant improved to 20-0-1 overall this season with the victory.