FORT SMITH — The Bryant Lady Hornets got a reminder of how rough and physical soccer can be against teams from northwest Arkansas on Saturday in the second round of the Fort Smith Invitational tournament. The Fayetteville Lady Bulldogs worked them over on the way to a 2-1 victory. But later in the day, the Lady Hornets bounced back with a 3-1 victory over the Southmoore Lady Saber Cats of Oklahoma City.
“It was a tough one to swallow,” said Bryant head coach James Paul after the Fayetteville match. “It was one of those games where our physicality is key and we showed that in the second half.
“We are pretty bruised up after that one,” he acknowledged. “Unfortunately, the ball didn’t bounce our way when we needed it to.”
The lone goal was on a penalty kick by Caroline Campbell with 7:39 left in the first half. The Lady Hornets were limited to seven shots on goal in the contest while Fayetteville got 12.
Keeper Brittney Warner had five saves.
In the match later in the day, Campbell assisted on a pair of goals by Lauren Heath. The first came just 2:55 into the match. The second goal came 10:10 in.
Just seconds later, Jessica Butler made it 3-0 with a follow shot and that score held up until halftime.
Southmoore picked up its goal at 24.47 of the second half.
“Solid performance for our midfielders as a unit,” Paul said. “Caroline Campbell controlled much of the middle of the field while Madison Humbard showed how versatile she can be playing in a few different positions throughout the tournament.
“We didn’t finish the way we hoped but we ended on a positive with clear goals to achieve in the coming weeks,” he added. “We have a young team that gained valuable experience. We are learning to play as a team and control the pace of the game. We hope to find a groove to carry over into conference play.”
That begins on Tuesday when 7A-Central Conference rival Fort Smith Southside visits.