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Soccer: Har-Ber edges Heritage behind Zizumbo's late goal

SPRINGDALE -- Springdale Har-Ber's eighth consecutive win Tuesday night -- like a number of others during its streak -- didn't lack last-second drama.

The Wildcats' Jesus Zizumbo found himself in the right place at the right time to give Har-Ber a 2-1 win over Rogers Heritage. Zizumbo's goal came with just 18 seconds left in regulation, and moved Har-Ber to 11-1 overall and 6-1 in 7A-West play.

"It's a big win. It kept us tied for first and keeps pressure on other teams," Har-Ber coach Cory Butler said. "It shows that we can fight back, win and we can still beat anybody. It's good momentum going into the next few games because we've got some big ones coming up."

Butler's club is closing in on one month since its last loss -- 2-0 at home against rival Springdale. Since then, the Wildcats have climbed back into contention for a league title as the first half of conference play closes. The back half begins Friday against Rogers High, another team hoping to make a push for league supremacy.

Zizumbo has been a factor in Har-Ber's recent success, Butler said. The junior did not score in Har-Ber's 5-1 win at Van Buren to cap last week, but did twice last Tuesday at Fayetteville. He then found an opportune time to net a goal Tuesday night.

"He's been the key to our midfield and creating things and setting things up for us," Butler said. "He's really causing problems for the other team and finishing the chances he gets."

Prior to Zizumbo's match-winner, Har-Ber's Brandon Ruvalcaba broke a scoreless tie with 28 minutes left in regulation. His header found the back of the net after he narrowly missed on a similar play less than one minute before.

"We thought the first goal was going to hold them off," Butler said. "He tapped that second (shot attempt) in and it helped us a lot."

Heritage showed a sense of urgency after falling behind, but was unable to close on an opportunity until late. The War Eagles' Pedro Garcia even saw his free kick from just outside the box ricochet hard off the crossbar.

But with three minutes, 42 seconds to play, Heritage knotted the score, 1-1, on Angel Castro's goal.

"For most of the game we held them off and did well defensively," Butler said of Heritage. "I figured we'd pull it out, but they did well to get that goal."

All signs were then pointing to penalty kicks. Zizumbo, though, had other ideas, netting the game winner from inside the box with 18 seconds to play. The goal dropped Heritage to 9-3 overall and 4-3 in league play as well as snap the War Eagles' four-match win streak.

Har-Ber faces Rogers High Friday with first place in the conference on the line after the Mounties shut out Springdale High, 3-0, Tuesday. Both teams are 6-1 in conference matches.

"They're going to play hard. They're a good team," Butler said of Rogers. "We've got to play well as well and be ready for it."

Bentonville High 4, Bentonville West 0

Jose Castro scored a goal in each half to lead Bentonville past Bentonville West.

Bentonville (5-3-1, 4-3) already had a 2-0 lead when Castro maneuvered through the West defense through the middle of the field and scored with 10 minutes, 11 seconds left in the first half. He scored the only goal of the second half when he bounced nearly a lateral kick from the west side with 8:36 remaining.

Mauricio Oscario and Bruno Mariscotti scored goals in the first half against the Wolverines (4-10-1, 0-7).

Fayetteville 4, Van Buren 1

First-half goals by Sullivan Witte and Lawson Templeton was all the Bulldogs (5-7, 2-5) needed to snap a four-match losing streak.

For good measure, they added insurance goals by Christian Morgan and Jan Bobda in the second half to secure the victory at Harmon Field.

Fayetteville returns to action at Bentonville High on Friday.

Sports on 04/12/2017

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