Kristina Henry has seen opposing teams bunch several players around the goal in hopes of keeping Bentonville from scoring, but that’s not the way Fort Smith Northside did against the Lady Tigers last week.
The Lady Bears put the game solely on their defense and placed nine of their 11 players near the box, which forced Bentonville (13-4, 10-0) to take longer shots than usual.
“I’ve seen some teams do that, but not that deliberately,” Henry said. “It was definitely a test for our players, and it was causing them to get frustrated. I just kept telling them if we scored one goal, it would be like scoring five with that kind of play.”
The strategy worked throughout regulation play as the Lady Tigers couldn’t get a goal. The only problem was Northside’s strategy didn’t allow the Lady Bears any opportunities for a shot on goal, resulting in a scoreless tie at the end of regulation.
Bentonville then won the game 4-3 on penalty kicks as goalkeeper Gabby Miller blocked Northside’s first two attempts and Alyssa Carlson nailed the game-winner.
“Northside must have thought that if the game when to PKs, it would have felt like a victory,” Henry said. “It wasn’t for a lack of trying. We pulled a defender, and we had defenders pressing forward and trying to take shots.”
Henry said she doesn’t expect to see such a ploy from other teams, starting Tuesday night when Bentonville hosts Springdale High.
“Everybody wants to win, and they want to do it in their own way,” Henry said. “Heritage and Rogers have the type of players that they won’t sit back. They’re going to come at us and take us on like they are capable of doing, and Springdale’s girls are crafty and like to play.”
— Henry Apple • @NWAHenry
The Lady Mounties will look to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday when they host Fort Smith Northside but they will also have leading scorers Sienna Nealon and Leslie Barrales back in the lineup.
Both have missed the last two weeks with injuries. Barrels has been out with a concussion, while Nealon has been sidelined with a knee injury.
“We’re looking forward to having them back,” Rogers coach Taylor Vaccaro said.
The Lady Mounties (6-10, 3-7 7A-West) haven’t scored a goal in their losing streak, being outscored by a combined score of 10-0 in the three matches.
— Paul Boyd• @NWAPaulB
The War Eagles had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 1-0 loss at Fort Smith Northside on Friday.
The Lady Bears scored the only goal of the match on a penalty kick with 11 minutes left in the second half. Heritage (10-5, 6-4 7A-West) blanked crosstown rival Rogers High earlier in the week as Bailee Russell had two goals, while Emily Seiler added a goal and an assist.
Heritage travels to Fort smith Southside on Tuesday, then hosts Fayetteville on Thursday.
— Paul Boyd• @NWAPaulB
Har-Ber (4-8, 4-6) split two home games last week, beating Springdale High 2-1 before losing 3-0 to league-leading Bentonville.
Har-Ber held on against Springdale after Vanessa Reynoso and Elise Reina scored goals within the first eight minutes of the game. Har-Ber couldn’t get anything going offensively against Bentonville, which beat the Lady Wildcats 7-1 last month at Bentonville.
“The girls played hard,” Har-Ber coach Cory Butler said following the Bentonville loss. “We’re down our goalie again and another player is outbut, realistically, it was a much better effort than last time against Bentonville.”
Har-Ber goal Lexi MItchell, who was suffered a concussion after a Springdale player crashed into her, will also miss Tuesday’s game against Fayetteville and Friday’s home game against Fort Smith Southside.
“Lexi has a bad concussion and is probably out for two or three weeks,” Butler said. “We might not get her back.”
— Rick Fires • @NWARick
Springdale enters the final stretch of 7A-West play still looking for its first victory after being outscored 40-4 in its 0-10 start.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-14-2, 0-10) still have games against Southside and Rogers, both of which are 3-7 in conference play. But the teams combined to beat Springdale 10-2 in the first half of conference play.
After not scoring in their first five conference games, Springdale has scored in four of its last five. But the Lady Bulldogs have failed to score more than one goal in a conference game and have allowed at least two goals in every game but a scoreless tie Har-Ber won in a PK shootout.
— Jimmy Carter • @NWAJimmy
The Lady Bulldogs continue to stay near the top of the 7A-West standings after another strong week in conference play.
Fayetteville picked up two more wins last week, winning 3-0 at Fort Smith Southside and 4-0 at home against Springdale High. The Lady’Dogs have allowed just one regulation goal in conference play, as defense has been a backbone to this season’s success.
On the offensive end, Berklie Young came up big last week with two goals in the win against Springdale, while Cassidy Sykes was also responsible for two scores on the weeks.
Fayetteville (11-3-1, 9-1) faces Springdale Har-Ber and Rogers Heritage this week.
– Vernon Tarver * @NWAVernon
7A-WEST GIRLS STANDINGS