A win over conference leader Springdale Har-Ber had Bentonville in position for one of the 7A-West’s top two spots for the Class 7A state tournament.
The Tigers, however, were knocked out of contention with losses to Springdale and Rogers High and leaves Bentonville (8-5-1, 7-5) trying to regroup over the last week of the regular season.
“The first half against Har-Ber was the best soccer we played all year,” Bentonvile coach Mike Devaney. “But that match made it difficult, emotionally and physically, to do it again against a really good team.
“Rogers is probably the most physical team in the conference with the way it high-presses you and skill athletes all over the place. We just didn’t compete in the first half, and we were punished.”
The Tigers can finish no worse than fifth, no matter what happens this week in matches against Rogers Heritage and Bentonville West. However, Bentonville could still pick up a No. 3 seed with wins and other things falling in place.
“I told our group it’s out of our hands right now,” Devaney said. “I told them there’s nothing we can do about last week, so we want to make sure we perform as well as possible.
“We don’t need to go into the state tournament on a big losing streak. We had some disappointing losses, but this is a resilient group that’s capable of bouncing back.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
A spot in the Class 7A state tournament was within reach for the Wolverines before their youth and inexperienced showed up at the wrong time.
West (6-13-1, 2-10) led 2-1 after a goal by freshman Sebastian Bedford with about 10 minutes to play, but a 5-second call led to Rogers Heritage getting a free kick and a tying goal. The War Eagles then scored again with about 2 minutes remaining to win the match.
“We were so close,” West coach John Marshall said. “Then we had some silly mistakes that cost us the game, and that shows our youth. The 5-second goal on our goalkeeper is rarely called.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t get a win earlier in the season and now we’ve got to pull out a win this week.”
The Wolverines, however, close out the season with matches Tuesday at Rogers High before a home match Friday with Bentonville High. West needs a win in one of those two matches or have Fayetteville to lose to Van Buren to have a chance to earn a state tournament berth.
Marshall, however, is encourage with what he saw from his team last week against Heritage.
“We played our best game of the year,” Marshall said. “If we can come out and play like we did Friday and match that kind of intensity, I think we can be OK.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
With three games remaining in 7A-West play, Fayetteville needs a win to try to prevent a tiebreaker for the league’s sixth and final spot in the state tournament.
Fayetteville hosts Springdale High in its final home match before traveling to Van Buren on Friday and to Rogers High for a make-up match on Monday, May 8.
The most winnable match of the three remaining appears to be against Van Buren as the Pointers are 5-16 overall and 1-11 in conference play. In the last meeting, Fayetteville won 4-1.
The Purple’Dogs are tied with Bentonville West for sixth place with two conference wins. Fayetteville defeated the Wolverines on March 16, but lost in a shootout on April 18. West’s final two games are at Rogers High on May 2 and against Bentonville High at home on May 5.
— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy
The Mounties (11-4, 9-2 7A-West) continued their winning ways, blanking Bentonville 3-0 on Friday behind two goals from senior forward Jessie Ramirez and a strong defensive effort.<br><br>
Rogers remains in second place behind 7A-West Conference leader Springdale Har-Ber., but the Mounties have three matches left in the regular-season. Rogers hosts Bentonville West on Tuesday, then travels to Springdale High on Friday, before hosting Fayetteville on Monday, May 8.<br><br>
The Mounties have won three straight and nine out of their last 10 — the lone loss in that period coming to Har-Ber. Rogers has posted five shutouts during that span.<br><br>
The War Eagles (12-4, 7-4 7A-West) got a goal from Pedro Garcia with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second half to snap a 2-2 tie and give them the 3-2 win at Van Buren on Friday night.<br><br>
That gave Heritage a sweep of two matches last week, but neither one was easy. Heritage was forced to penalties kicks before down Fayetteville on Tuesday, then trailed 1-0 and 2-1 at Van Buren before rallying for the win.<br><br>
But Heritage faces two key 7A-West Conference matches this week when it travels Bentonville on Tuesday, then goes to league leading Springdale Har-Ber on Friday. The War Eagles host Van Buren on Monday, May 8, to close the regular season.<br><br>
— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulB
The Wildcats were tripped up one week ago today for the first time in more than a month. Har-Ber, though, closed out last week with two decisive wins and sit alone atop of the 7A-West entering the final week of the regular season.
Bentonville High dropped Har-Ber, 2-1, snapping its 10-match winning streak. Coach Cory Butler’s Wildcats responded by outscoring its final two opponents of the week 8-0.
Har-Ber is 10-2 in the league with two matches to play. Van Buren is up first at Wildcat Stadium on Tuesday before Har-Ber closes out the schedule with a trip to Rogers Heritage. In the first half of conference matches, Har-Ber took down Van Buren, 5-1, and Heritage, 2-1.
Junior Jesus Zizumbo scored the game-winning goal against the War Eagles with 18 seconds left in the teams’ first meeting at Har-Ber.
In MaxPreps’ most recent national boys soccer rankings, the Wildcats come in at No. 11, down one spot from last week.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie
The Red’Dogs hit their roughest stretch of the season at the end of the first round of league matches. But they’re looking to finish strong.
Last week, Springdale got off to a good start in that regard, grabbing three wins by a combined score of 11-0. One night after Bentonville ended Har-Ber’s long winning streak, Springdale knocked off the Tigers, 2-0.
Springdale then capped the week with a dominant 6-0 win against Van Buren. Salvador Gonzalez scored twice and was one of five Red’Dogs to record a goal. Coach DJ Beeler’s club has now won three straight since its three-match losing skid.
Springdale, now 8-4 in the 7A-West, ravels to Fayetteville (2-9 7A-West) tomorrow to open its week. The Red’Dogs beat Fayetteville, 4-1, in the first meeting. Springdale then closes out conference play Friday with a big match at Rogers High.
In MaxPreps’ most recent national boys soccer rankings, Springdale comes in at No. 34.
– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie