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Diaz lifts Bentonville High to victory

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BENTONVILLE -- With Fayetteville senior keeper Gracie Cape charging toward her, Bentonville freshman Angelina Diaz kept her composure.

Diaz slid a shot past Cape's right side and into the back of the net for the game-winning goal in the Lady Tigers' 1-0 victory against the Lady Purple'Dogs at the Tiger Athletic Complex on Friday.

"What a great challenge for Angelina -- that's bold," said Bentonville coach Kristina Henry. "You've got a keeper coming at you, hands and feet, and she stuck it in."

It put the Lady Tigers (13-3, 8-0 7A-West) in the driver's seat atop the 7A-West standings with a two-match lead against Fayetteville (11-3, 6-2), which Bentonville also defeated 1-0 on March 14.

Bentonville was playing into a prevailing south wind in the first half, so Henry said getting the goal with under two minutes remaining until halftime was "huge." It was the only shot on goal by either team in the first half.

Lauren Hargus set the goal up by drawing defenders to her to create spacing before passing the ball ahead to Lauren Holly, who chipped it to Diaz for the assist.

Fayetteville, which entered with a six-match winning streak, had just one shot on goal for the entire match as compared to six for Bentonville. It came 10 minutes into the second half when Reagan Resz broke away for just enough space to get a shot off from inside the 18-yard box, but it was right into Bentonville keeper Madee East's arms.

Playing its third match in four days, the Lady Purple'Dogs didn't have quite enough left in the tank to play from behind -- especially with the wind in their face in the second half -- against the defending 7A state champs.

"They move the ball around and make you chase," said Fayetteville coach Joe Thoma. "We gave up the goal there right before the half and I knew that was going to happen, especially against the wind. We made it tough on ourselves doing that.

"Bentonville's a very good team and well-deserving of being first place in the conference."

It was the Lady Tigers' 10th shutout of the season. They've limited conference opponents to just one goal and eight total shots on goal. Fayetteville, which now has three of those shots on goal, had "a couple of chances to tie it there if we would have just put the ball in the right place," Thoma said.

Henry said her back-line did a solid job of clearing the ball out to limit Fayetteville's scoring opportunities, but a few of the stops were not perfectly executed.

"They were giving me gray hairs," Henry said. "They got out of shape a couple of times and let balls bounce that I don't like them to let bounce, but they did a nice job of fighting tooth and nail to keep the ball out of our end."

Girls

Rogers Heritage 3, Springdale High 2

Freshman Grace Rodgriguez scored on an assist from freshman Pam Seiler to snap a 2-2 tie in the 65th minute to give the Lady War Eagles a hard-fought 7A-West Conference win.

Heritage (4-9, 3-5) snapped a four-match losing streak. The Lady War Eagles led 1-0 and 2-1 but Springdale came back to tie each time before Rodgriguez scored. Lanee Knight, another freshman, scored Heritage's first two goals. Seiler had two assists, while Abby Cook also added an assist.

Springdale Har-Ber 2, Rogers High 0

The Lady Wildcats used a Faith Newgent goal with five minutes to play to seal a 2-0 win against the Lady Mounties Friday night.

Har-Ber's Giselle Estrada scored in the first half to give the Lady Wildcats a 1-0 lead before Newgent added the game-sealing goal. Har-Ber keeper Mekenna Taylor came up big for the Lady Wildcats, finishing with five saves. Har-Ber improves to 5-3 in conference play.

Boys

Bentonville 5, Fayetteville 1

The Tigers (6-3-1, 5-3) snapped a 1-1 tie with the Bulldogs (5-8, 2-6) with four goals in the final 22:53 of regulation.

Xavier Serrano punched in what proved to be the game-winner. It was followed up by goals by Harrison Dickerson, Jorge Hernandez and Anthony Mancia, who hammered in a shot from about 40-yards out in the closing minutes to create the final margin.

The first half goals were by Fayetteville's Christian Morgan and Bentonville's Bruno Mariscotti.

OTHER GAMES

GIRLS

Siloam Springs 3, Harrison 1

Junior Megan Hutto scored two goals and Meghan Kennedy added an insurance goal as Siloam Springs defeated Harrison in a matchup of defending state champions on Friday at Panther Stadium.

Hutto scored her first goal with 28 minutes left in the first half on a shot from 25 yards out. She scored again with 9:25 left in the half for a 2-0 lead for the Lady Panthers (15-2, 5-0 5A/6A District 1).

Harrison asnwered just 16 seconds later with a goal from Brylie Parker as the Lady Goblins (6-7-1, 3-2) pulled within 2-1 at halftime.

Kennedy scored with 10:32 left in the game to set the final score.

BOYS

Siloam Springs 2, Harrison 1

Sophomore Eli Jackson scored a pair of goals in the second half as Siloam Springs rallied to beat the Goblins in a 5A/6A District 1 match Friday at Panther Stadium.

Harrison (3-9-1, 0-5) took a 1-0 lead in the first half when the Panthers mistakingly scored an own goal.

Jackson tied the match off a Christian Marroquin assist with 29:59 left in the second half. The Panthers (13-4-1, 4-1) took the lead when Jackson corralled the rebound of a Jack Bos shot and scored what would be the game-winning goal with 15:54 left.

Sports on 04/15/2017

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