Lady Hornets blank all three opponents on the way to Invitational crown

JONESBORO — The Bryant Lady Hornets shut out three opponents on the way to capturing the championship of the Northeast Arkansas Invitational Tournament on Saturday.

They opened with a 1-0 win over the host Jonesboro team then downed Conway St. Joseph 2-0 before finishing the sweep by edging Valley View 1-0.

The victories improved Bryant to 13-6 overall this season with 7A-Central Conference matches against Conway, Cabot and North Little Rock still to be played. The wins increased their winning streak to six games and eight of the last nine. The 13 wins is the second most ever posted by a Lady Hornets team. The 2000 squad finished 16-2.[more]

Against Jonesboro, the Lady Hornets scored early in the first half and made it stand. Shelby Gartrell scored the goal off a cross from Lexie Balisterri.

Gartrell also had both goals in the win over Conway St. Joseph. In the first half, she scored off an assist from Maggie Hart. The second goal came late in the second half on a breakaway.

Hart scored early in the first half of the win over Valley View.

“The girls were able to take care of business,” commented Lady Hornets coach Julie Long. “The two-and-a-half hour bus ride did not help us that morning. We had to get the kinks worked out that first game.

“Our second game was probably the best game we had,” she stated. “The girls played well. I was proud of how we played as a team. There were times when we moved the ball very well. I think this tournament helped us build a little confidence going into Tuesday’s game.”

Tuesday’s opponent at Bryant Stadium, Conway, leads the 7A-Central Conference. The Lady Wampus Cats edged Bryant 2-0 at Conway on March 18.

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