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Soccer Lady Mounties score late to edge Rogers Heritage

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Photographs by Ben Goff

Rogers High’s Leslie Barrales (2) hugs teammate Haley Arrick (4) on Friday after scoring a goal against Rogers Heritage at Gates Stadium in Rogers.

ROGERS -- Leslie Barrales used her head to help Rogers High edge crosstown rival Rogers Heritage on Friday at Gates Stadium.

The sophomore forward's header with 29 seconds snapped a scoreless tie helped the Lady Mounties to the 1-0 win to help them improve to 2-0 in 7A-West Conference soccer.

"It was just instinct," Barrales said. "I've been training with my dad for who knows how long. He says 'if it's too high for your legs, hit it with your head.' so that's what I did."

Junior midfielder Ashlyn Babbitt crossed the ball to the center of the field and Faught came out. But Barrales got her head on it and directed toward the far post for the only score of the night.

Rogers coach Aaron Crouch praised his team postgame for their perseverance, keeping the pressure on in the second half -- particularly in the final minutes. Heritage keeper Micayla Faught came up with six saves in the final 7 minutes, 30 seconds, but couldn't come up with the last one. But Crouch said Faught kept her team in the game.

"I will tell you their keeper had a phenomenal night," Crouch said. "I was more frustrated with the keeper than my team. She had a great game. But they kept the pressure the whole way. They never backed down. They knew the game plan and they never quit.

"Our girls were better in the second half. They woke up. Our keeper Mac Brace had a great game. She kept coming off her line and winning the balls for us as they were coming over."

Crouch also praised the work of sophomore midfield Grace Carroll, who helped keep the attack going strong in the second half.

"She came from basketball and played mid the whole game. She was physical and won a lot of balls in the air and shut down a lot of their attacking-minded midfielders. She had a phenomenal game and solidified our line, which helped us go forward."

The Lady Mounties improved to 4-2-1 overall and 2-0 in the 7A-West, while the Lady War Eagles dropped to 2-4 and 1-1.

Heritage's best scoring chance came in the final minute of the first half when freshman Pam Seiler's shot hit the crossbar. Lady War Eagles coach Skye Stover was pleased with the progress his team made, despite the loss.

"That's the best soccer game we've played so far this year," Stover said. "For 79 minutes and 30 seconds, we were even. We had our opportunities. They had their opportunities. They might have had a couple more than we did, but for the most part it was pretty even.

"I'm incredibly proud of all of them that played tonight. My young ones played well. We were taking what we learned in practiced and faking it on the field. I want to win, but growth is the big thing and I saw that tonight."

Rogers High 3, Rogers Heritage 1

Jessie Ramirez had a goal and an assist to help the Mounties finish the sweep.

Rogers (3-3, 1-1) led 2-0 at halftime and added a goal in the second half.

Heritage fell to 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the 7A-West.

Sports on 03/18/2017

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