By Rob Patrick
CABOT — It’s one thing to be good and it’s another to be lucky. But[more] to be good and lucky — well, that’s a hard combination to beat.
The Springdale Bulldogs, the second seeded team from the 7A-West Conference, were just that on Saturday. With a shot in the opening minutes that ricocheted off the foot of a Bryant defender’s foot and into the goal, the Bulldogs grabbed an early lead. It put the Hornets under the gun and, pressing, they never could overcome it.
The resulting 3-1 loss in the second round of the Class 7A State Tournament, ended the season for the Hornets.That first goal came in the first couple of minutes in the game.
“It came off a cross and it basically went off one of our defenders’ foot,” related Hornets head coach Jason Hay. “That just kind of put us behind the eight ball early. It was tough.
“It wasn’t anybody’s fault,” he said. “It was just bad luck.
“Springdale’s very, very, very good,” the coach continued. “They’re very good at passing the ball. They were moving the ball probably better than anybody we’ve played all year as far as one touch and being smart.
“We were all diving in and, after that goal, really trying to get it back. We were kind of hurrying ourselves when we didn’t need to panic,” Hay mentioned.
Still, that proved to be the lone goal of the first half so the Hornets were certainly in it at that point.
“The second half, we played really good the first 10 minutes,” Hay said. “We had our shots, had a few chances. (Alex) Rowlan had a header that I thought was going to go in. We just didn’t capitalize.”
Springdale, on the other hand, managed to add a pair of goals before senior Holden Chavis got the Hornets on the board with about six minutes left in the contest.
“They were the better team today,” Hay said of Springdale. “There’s only going to be one team in Class 7A that won’t end the year with a loss,” he continued. “It’s hard. I hate to see these kids who have given so much, you hate to see them lose. I can deal with the losing but what bothers me is seeing those guys upset because I know it means so much to them. Those five seniors we have this year did an outstanding job and I’m proud of all of them.
“We’ll be returning 10 seniors next year,” the coach mentioned. “So we’ve still got a lot left. We’ll just have to turn around and get ready for next year.”