Late goal secures Hornets’ conference win over Tigers

Bouncing back from a hard-fought 2-0 loss at Little Rock Catholic before Spring Break, the Bryant Hornets improved to 2-1 in 6A-Central Conference play on Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over the Little Rock Central Tigers at Bryant Stadium.

Junior J.J. Giron knocked in a pair of penalty kicks in the first half and, after Central used a penalty kick to cut the lead in the second half, Martin Ramirez scored off a feed from Daniel Linares with right around five minutes left in the contest to seal the victory.

“It was nice to be home,” declared Hornets coach Richard Friday, who noted that it was only Bryant’s second home match of the season, their first since the season-opening win over Benton on March 1.

The Hornets are now 3-2-2 overall this season.

“The kids have trained well the last few days,” Friday noted. “What we worked on this week, they implemented. The game plan worked well. 

“We dominated the game for the most part,” he continued. “We probably had 80 percent of the possession time. The only downside is we didn’t generate enough opportunities to score out of that possession time.

“But we put pressure on them,” the coach asserted. “We put pressure on them.”

Trailing 2-0, Central applied its own pressure to start the second half.
“The first half, they didn’t really press us that much,” Friday said. “They just stayed off of us. But when they picked up the pressure, they kind of put it on us a little bit. It was kind of like boxing. We took our punch and then kind of rebounded, recovered from that point.

“They got a PK midway through the second half, but we came back and put more pressure on,” he continued. “We got some more shots and started to pin them back again then we got a break-through where the ball got played across and knocked one in to seal it.

“All in all, I was pleased with the boys’ effort,” the coach stated. “Defensively, we were fine. We read situations. I talked to the kids about being brave and committing more players forward and attacking them. It kind of left our center-backs isolated but they did the job. They held them out. They won balls. They played out of the back brilliantly and did the jobs we needed them to do.”

The Hornets return to action on the road against Fort Smith Southside on Friday.

“Hopefully, this gets us on a roll,” Friday said. “The top four out of our conference, generally, Conway, Catholic, Northside and us, and we’ve played two out of the other three so far. Now we play the bottom four and we have a chance to get some confidence and kind of develop ourselves a bit more.”

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