Photographs by Ben Goff
Willie Hernandez (1) of Rogers kicks the ball toward the net Thursday while teammate Nelson Rivas (21) tries to maintain his position during the Mounties’ 6-0 victory over Cabot in the Class 7A boys soccer state tournament at Gates Stadium in Rogers.
Friday, May 11, 2018
ROGERS -- Rogers High has struggled all season to score goals, but the Mounties only needed eight seconds to find the back of the net Thursday.
Brayan Flores sent a high kick that went through the hands of the Cabot keeper and into the net for a quick 1-0 lead, then the Mounties rolled from there to a 6-0 win in the first round of the Class 7A state boys soccer tournament at Gates Stadium.
Boys state soccer tournaments
At Rogers Heritage
Match 2 4C Bryant 4, 5W Bentonville High 0
Match 4 3W Fayetteville 2, 6C Fort Smith Southside 1 (OT)
Match 6 4W Rogers High 6, 5C Cabot 0
Match 8 3C LR Catholic 1, 6W Bentonville West 0
Match 9 1W Springdale High vs. Bryant, 10 a.m.
Match 10 2C Fort Smith Northside vs. Fayetteville, noon
Match 11 1C Conway vs. Rogers High, 2 p.m.
Match 12 2W Springdale Har-Ber vs. LR Catholic, 4 p.m.
Match 13 Winner Match 9 vs. Winner Match 10, 10 a.m.
Match 14 Winner Match 11 vs. Winner Match 12, noon
"Getting that first goal that early really helped us out," Rogers coach Stephen Peck said. "That kind of changed the way we approached the game since we've struggled in scoring. To have one come that early really helped us."
Cabot (11-10-1) keeper Nicholas Whisker was under attack from the opening kickoff as the Mounties relentlessly fired shots on the goal on their way to a 4-0 halftime lead. Whisker was injured late in the first half when he and a teammate collided inside the goalie box.
The Mounties (12-10-1) had other chances at goals as Flores hit the left post from about 18 yards out and Nelson Rivas and Trey Keith also missed scoring chances.
Maynor Sandoval had a point-blank shot on the goal that Whisker was somehow able to corral, but eventually, the Mounties found the openings.
"I was pleased with the way we moved and passed the ball today," Peck said. "I thought we could have done even better, but we were able to take advantage of most of the opportunities we had today."
Johan Rodriguez scored a pair of goals and Felix Escobar put one into the left corner and the Mounties were never threatened.
"We just all wanted to score today," Rodriguez said. "We really wanted this one today. We've had trouble scoring, but today we fixed it. We played with a lot of heart today."
A large home crowd was able to cheer the Mounties on Thursday, something Peck said made a difference for his team.
"When you have a lot of fans cheering you on, it helps," Peck said. "It definitely makes you feel better."
Rogers continued the attack in the second half as Samuel Zamarron beat Cabot's replacement keeper 1-on-1 for a goal with 10:09 left in the match, then Francisco Jimenez drilled a left-footer from about 10 yards out for the 6-0 final score.
The Mounties will advance to take on Conway at 2 p.m. today in the second round.
Bryant 4, Bentonville High 0
Bryant's boys' soccer team didn't need any goals in the second half to thoroughly handle Bentonville.
The Hornets (15-2-1) had back-to-back goals early in the first half that effectively put the match away. At the 31:05 mark, Jhorman Cruz got in the middle of Bentonville's defense just a few yards away from the goal and scored. After the Tigers (8-12) turned it over immediately after, the Hornets doubled up their lead with another goal at the 30:27 mark.
Bryant keeper Arron Stahlmann was solid in goal for the Hornets.
Brandon Delgado scored on a penalty kick and Luis Lara scored off a rebound for Bryant's other goals.
The Hornets will face Springdale at 10 a.m. today in the second round.
Fayetteville 2, FS Southside 1
The two teams battled to a 1-1 tie after 80 minutes and Fayetteville sophomore forward Sullivan Witte needed less than a minute in the sudden-death period to score the match-winning goal for the Bulldogs (11-13).
Witte maneuvered himself into the middle of the defense, and a pass from one of his teammates gave him the opportunity for a close shot. He delivered, and the Bulldogs' bench raced onto the field in celebration.
Fayetteville got out to an early lead on a goal by senior midfielder Lawson Templeton at the at the 39:18 mark in the first half against the Mavericks (6-15).
The Bulldogs will take on Fort Smith Northside at noon today in round two.
LR Catholic 1, Bentonville West 0
Rowan Thomas scored an early goal and the Rockets' defense did the rest in Thursday's late match.
Both teams had numerous chances throughout the match to score, but could not find the net.
Catholic (16-5-1) will take on Springdale Har-Ber at 4 p.m. today in a second-round match.
Sports on 05/11/2018
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