A big week has become even bigger for Bentonville this week.
The Tigers (7-3-1, 6-3) were already scheduled to play a home match Tuesday against Springdale High and a Friday match at Rogers High. Now the Tigers started the week at home Monday against Springdale Har-Ber in a match that was postponed Friday because of inclement weather, and all of those teams are in the middle of a five-team race near the top of the 7A-West standings.
“It’s going to be a difficult week,” Bentonville coach Mike Devaney said. “Having both Springdale schools on back-to-back nights is not an ideal situation, and that makes it even more difficult.
Bentonville opened the week in sole possession of third place in the league standings, but that could change in either direction — depending on the outcome of these three matches.
“If we could come away with a split of the Springdale schools, I think we could come out with a pretty good day,” Devaney said. “A 3-0 record this week would be extraordinary and I would be ecstatic. On the other hand, an 0-3 record this week would be disappointing and hard to recover from.
“These are some big matches in a short amount of times, and we’ll be depending on a lot of guys this week. We can’t just depend on our top 11. It’s going to test the depth on our team.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
The Purple’Dogs are among three teams battling for the final spot in the postseason.
Only the top six teams punch a playoff ticket. Fayetteville and Bentonville West are tied for sixth place with a 2-7 mark in 7A-West play while Van Buren is a match back at 1-8.
Fayetteville lost to Bentonville West in a shootout last week, but defeated the Wolverines 1-0 earlier in the season. It still has a match at Van Buren on May 5 and could avoid a tiebreaker if it was to win that match and West was to lose out. All of the Wolverines remaining matches are against teams with winning records in conference play.
Five games still remain on Fayetteville’s conference schedule after Friday’s match at Rogers High was postponed due to weather. That will now be the final match of the regular season as it was rescheduled for Monday, May 8, at 6 p.m.
Four of Fayetteville’s final five matches are on the road with trips this week to Rogers Heritage on Tuesday and Springdale Har-Ber on Friday.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
Two weeks remain in the regular season, and the Har-Ber’ next-to-last will be one of its busiest.
Weather postponed Har-Ber’s match at Bentonville High last Friday, but today the teams will meet for the first time since March 28 – a match Har-Ber took, 3-1. Har-Ber’s 10-match winning streak will be on the line.
Tuesday, Har-Ber returns to Bentonville for its second match of the week against Bentonville West, a team sitting at 2-7 in league play and just a game ahead of Van Buren at the bottom of the conference standings. The Wildcats will close out the week at home against Fayetteville (2-7 7A-West).
Before Friday’s match was postponed, Har-Ber moved up five spots in MaxPreps’ boys national soccer rankings to No. 5, behind only three unbeaten teams and another 14-1 club.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
Weather wiped out essentially every match Friday, including Springdale vs. Bentonville West. But today, the Red’Dogs have a chance to face the Wolverines and snap a rough three-match losing skid.
Springdale has had issues defensively with opponents’ set pieces, coach DJ Beeler said after last Tuesday’s loss to rival Har-Ber. During the Red’Dogs’ losing streak, the offense has not scored while allowing eight goals. Previously, Springdale had outscored teams in league play 16-2.
Beeler’s club still sits in the middle of the conference standings at 5-4 in a tie with Rogers Heritage for fourth place. Springdale faces West today, Bentonville on the road Tuesday and Van Buren Friday to close the week.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie