By Chris Morgan
Early in the second half, the Bryant Lady Hornets took a corner kick, which sailed into the North Little Rock 18-yard box. Going up, two players collided but, an obvious hand ball by the Lady Charging Wildcats was not called. As all the players stopped, the ball managed to find its way into the goal counting as a point for the Lady Hornets.
Bryant went on to secure a 5-0 win over the 7A-Central Conference rival, snapping a two-game slump.
“It was a good night for our back line to practice leadership,” Bryant head coach Nicole Inman said. “Tonight was a step in the right direction.”
The Lady Hornets’ offense started strong with a corner kick 28 seconds into the match. The kick was forced by a Jessica Butler taking a long 30-yard run into the North Little Rock final third, bouncing the ball off a Lady Charging Wildcat defender.
The first goal on the night came with 25:03 left in the first half when Alyssa Fason put the ball on the right-side netting after receiving a pass from Madison Humbard.
With 20:20 left, Bryant was given a free kick one yard off the top of the Lady Cats’ 18-yard box. Mary Catherine Selig took the strike missing just high and to the right.
The Lady Hornets found more goals when Humbard took a blistering shot on goal but a diving save kept the ball out of the goal. Lauren Heath was there to collect the rebound off the keeper, putting the ball in the back of the net. That gave the Lady Hornets some breathing room.
With 1:27 left in first half, the team had another chance to score. Humbard took a shot hitting the cross bar and, on the rebound, Abbie Patton took a header shot also hitting the crossing bar.
The Lady Hornets managed their clean-sheet first half, only allowing North Little Rock one shot, and producing a two-goal lead.
Humbard found her goal after Fason took a cross from the right of the 18-yard box, right to the head of Humbard for an easy tap in goal.
Four minutes later, the Lady Cats’ handball resulted in the own goal.
The game had a sense of unease as audible unpleasantries could be heard coming from the away side bleachers as well as the North Little Rock sideline.
North Little Rock had an opportunity to score after no Lady Hornet defender pushed the Lady Cats striker, giving up a shot. However, it missed just high.
Fason scored the Lady Hornets’ fifth goal after receiving a pass from Butler.
Humbard would go down late along the Hornet home side line, falling and holding her left knee. She had to be assisted off and would not return.
“There’s nothing you can do about injuries,” Inman said. “We just try to work with new players and hope to see some success.
“It solidifies what they already know to be true, that they have a good team that works together,” she said of her team. “When they put in the effort early, it makes a difference.”
Next, the Lady Hornets, now 8-4 overall and 3-3 in conference play, take to the road Tuesday, April 10, to face Conway.