7A-West Girls Soccer Report

Fayetteville
The Lady Bulldogs (8-2, 3-1 7A-West) have won four of their past five games with a 1-0 loss at Bentonville High on March 14 serving as the sole setback.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Fayetteville goal keeper Gracie Cape (left) has four shutouts in the first 10 matches this season and has allowed just two goals in four 7A-West matches.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE
Fayetteville goal keeper Gracie Cape (left) has four shutouts in the first 10 matches this season and has allowed just two goals in four 7A-West matches.

They’ve outscored opponents 10-1 in those four wins and 9-2 in conference play behind a strong defense anchored by senior goalkeeper Gracie Cape, who already has four shutouts through the team’s first 10 matches.

“As a senior, she’s a leader and she just does a great job,” Thoma said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her and what she’s meant to this team and this program.”

Last week’s wins included a 2-1 victory against Rogers High on Tuesday and a 2-0 win against Rogers Heritage on Friday.

Against the Lady Mounties, Cape came 15 yards out of the goal to make a key second-half save that set up the winning goal by sophomore Reagan Resz, who had just missed a shot 77 seconds earlier. Resz missed 18 months after reconstructive knee surgery and is a “determined young lady who’s getting better and better and better,” Thoma said.

“I was just so proud of her and the team for not getting down on her after that miss,” Thoma said. “That could have been their only chance, but everybody was like, ‘Let’s go. We got this.’ And she came back even more focus and really hit a nice ball in.”

Fayetteville continues 7A-West play this week when it hosts Springdale Har-Ber at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and plays at Springdale High at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

— Mike Capshaw • @NWACappy

Rogers High
The Lady Mounties (5-3-1, 3-1 7A-West Conference) bounced back from a tough 2-1 loss to blank Van Buren 4-0 on Friday.

Sienna Nealon had two goals, while Sydney Figenskau and Grace Carroll added one goal each — all in the first half.

The Lady Mounties are on the road twice this week, traveling to Bentonville on Tuesday and Bentonville West on Friday.

— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulb

Rogers Heritage
The Lady War Eagles will try to bounce back from Friday’s 2-0 loss to Fayetteville.

Heritage (3-5, 2-2 7A-West) blanked Van Buren 3-0 earlier in the week, but will play twice at home this week. The Lady War Eagles will host Bentonville West on Tuesday, then host Bentonville High on Friday.

— Paul Boyd • @NWAPaulb

Springdale High
DJ Beeler’s Lady Red’Dogs had a rough go against Bentonville High to end last week, falling 8-0 at home. Springdale is now 2-4 overall and 1-3 in 7A-West play.

Last week began with a bang, though, as Springdale grabbed its first win in conference play at Bentonville West with a 4-2 win. The Lady Red’Dogs took a 2-0 lead into halftime and held off the Lady Wolverines with two more in the second half.

Chela Razo recorded a hat trick in the win, scoring the first of her goals with less than 15 minutes left in the first half before tacking on two more after the break. Jessica Paez put Springdale up for good thanks to her goal less than eight minutes in.

Springdale travels to Van Buren (2-9, 0-4) Tuesday before hosting Fayetteville (8-2, 3-1) Friday.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Springdale Har-Ber
Much like Springdale, Har-Ber earned a weekly split with Bentonville and West. Har-Ber fell 2-0 to Bentonville before putting six goals – three in each half – on the Lady Wolverines in a 6-2 win.

Faith Snow and Giselle Estrada teamed up for three goals in the first half, then Estrada took over, scoring two more in the second to grab a hat trick. Erika Orellana put the finishing touches on the win with a goal of her own as well.

Entering the week, Har-Ber sits at 5-4 overall and 2-2 in league play. By week’s end, Har-Ber will have played three consecutive matches away from home. Fayetteville is first up Tuesday before another trip to Van Buren.

Van Buren currently sits in last place in the league, allowing 23 goals against just four scored in conference matches. Fayetteville is in a tie for second with Rogers High at 3-1.

– Scottie Bordelon • @NWAScottie

Bentonville High

The defense has done its part in lifting Bentonville to the top of the 7A-West Conference standings.

The Lady Tigers (7-2, 4-0) continued their string of shutouts last week with a 2-0 win at Springdale Har-Ber and an 8-0 rout over Springdale High and have not allowed a goal in league play.

“One of the girls pointed that out the other day,” Bentonville coach Kristina Henry said. “I’m happy about it. I think we only gave up one or two goals in conference play last year, and one of them came on a tiebreaker.”

What makes it more impressive is that the Lady Tigers is doing with practically a new group of defenders. Caila Hanus is the only player who returned from last year, and she’s mixed in with a deep group that includes goalkeeper Maddee East and defenders Carrie Kotoucek, Brianna Willis, Megan Sadler, Simone Norvell and Kenzie Stencil.

“We have two players for every position at any time,” Henry said. “And we work on how we defend. I’m happy that it’s paying dividends with the way we defend as a group.

“A lot of credit goes to Maddie Howard, who is the anchor of the defense as a midfielder. What she does in her role dictates what the back four does.”

— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Bentonville West

West coach Zach Nidiffer likes the hard work that his players have put in during the Lady Wolverines’ first season.

The only thing he wants now is for those players to work hard as a team and not as individuals.
“We’re just not syncing right now,” Nidiffer said. “I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the players, but we’re still not where we need to be.

“One of the biggest areas would be in our midfield. We need our players in that area to be a bigger part of our offense, but they’re still tending to drop back on defense.”

Nidiffer said he’s tried moving around some players in hopes of finding the right combination and has even added a player to the roster. Lexi Carter hasn’t played soccer in two years, but she seems to have given the Lady Wolverines (2-9-1, 1-3) a needed boost.

“She’s not back to the point where she needs to be,” Nidiffer said. “But she’s working hard on getting there.”

West returns to action Tuesday at Rogers Heritage, then hosts Rogers High later this week.

— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry

Mike Capshaw
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Mike Capshaw

Sports writer at NWA Media
Mike primarily covers Fayetteville and Farmington.
Mike Capshaw
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