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Bentonville rallies past Mount St. Mary

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Photographs by Charlie Kaijo

Bentonville High players celebrate after Tyler Ann Reash (second from left) scored a tie-breaking goal with less than three minutes left in a Class 7A state quarterfinal match against Mount St. Mary Academy on Friday at Whitey Smith Stadium in Rogers.

ROGERS -- Bentonville High's girls saw scoring opportunities during Friday's match against Mount St. Mary, but they would suddenly vanish just before the Lady Tigers could capitalize on them.

Then Tyler Ann Reash found one more crease, and it was all Bentonville needed.

At A Glance

Class 7A Girls State Soccer Tournament

at Rogers

Thursday

Game 1 C4 Mount St. Mary 4, Springdale High 0

Game 2 W3 Springdale Har-Ber 2, C6 Fort Smith Northside 1

Game 3 W4 Fayetteville 3, C5 Cabot 0

Game 4 C3 Conway 7, W6 Rogers Heritage 2

Friday

Game 5 W1 Bentonville 2, Mount St. Mary 1

Game 6 C2 Bryant 2, Springdale Har-Ber 1 (4-3 PKs)

Game 7 C1 Fort Smith Southside 4, Fayetteville 3 (2 OT)

Game 8 W2 Rogers High 3, Conway 1

Today

Game 9 Bentonville vs. Bryant, 10 a.m.

Game 10 Fort Smith Southside vs. Rogers, noon

Championship Game

at Razorback Field, Fayetteville

Game 11 Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, time and date TBD

The junior forward battled her way through traffic and drilled in a shot from the left side with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left and gave the Lady Tigers a 2-1 quarterfinal victory in the Class 7A state soccer tournament at Whitey Smith Stadium.

"In those last few minutes, I knew we had to keep going and keep fighting," Reash said. "We wanted it so bad. We finally got that through ball, and it worked out for us.

"We could see the pockets the whole game, and we kept trying to get them through. That one just happened. There were a couple of players on me, but I made a quick turn and put the ball into the back of the net. The goalie was at the near post, so I fired the ball to the back, away from her."

Bentonville (19-2-1) advances to today's 10 a.m. semifinal match against Bryant, but it wasn't easy against a Mount St. Mary team that finished fourth in the 7A-Central Conference. The Lady Tigers lost one of their starters when Sydney Suggs went down with an apparent knee injury early in the match, then they couldn't get anything into the net despite several chances in the first half.

The Belles then made it even tougher when Kaitlin Tarini slipped past the Bentonville defense and scored with 37:36 remaining. It meant Bentonville had to come from behind with a stiff wind in the faces of its players, but that didn't bother Lady Tigers coach Kristina Henry.

"Having the wind isn't always an advantage," Henry said. "It's so hard because it lets you be anxious and you can use it as a crutch. It changes the game and the predictability of the ball. I wasn't surprised when we started playing better into the wind."

Bentonville needed more than 12 minutes before it finally found the tying goal. Brianna Willis caught the goalie out of position just enough to push the ball past her, then she fired a shot into an open goal from about 15 yards out with 25:57 remaining.

"Tremendous effort by Brianna Willis," Henry said. "I mean an individual, put-it-on-the-line effort. It was fantastic."

Bryant 2, Springdale Har-Ber 1 (4-3 PKs)

Jillian Colclasure nailed the decisive penalty kick, and Brittney Warner blocked Har-Ber's last attempt as Bryant advanced to play Bentonville.

Bryant (16-5) took a 1-0 lead when Melinda Hernandez scored with 10 seconds left in the first half, and the score remained that way until Har-Ber (16-10) tied it on a Megan LaMendola free kick from 25 yards out with 1:15 remaining.

Unlike the regular season, tournament matches go into overtime periods before penalty kicks are used to determine a winner. The two teams, however, went scoreless through the two extra 10-minute sessions.

Ashlyn Thompson, Madison Humbard and Mary Catherine Selig connected on penalty kicks for Bryant, while LaMendola, Giselle Estrada and Kim Carpio scored Har-Ber's penalty kicks.

Fort Smith Southside 4, Fayetteville 3 (2 OT)

Southside faced a 3-0 deficit in its 7A state tournament quarterfinal game against Fayetteville, but a valiant comeback effort resulted in a double-overtime victory.

Senior midfielder Kelly Carson had two goals, including the match-winner with 36 seconds remaining in the second overtime. On the play, she got past the defense and found herself all alone with Fayetteville's goalkeeper. She blasted the kick through the right side of the net, and she was met with jubilation from her teammates.

Fayetteville's first-half, three-goal lead was aided by sophomore forward Georgia Templeton, who scored two goals on the day. Her first score came just 60 seconds into the match, and her second and the team's third goal came at the 12:50 mark. Sophomore forward Morganne Browning had a backward header that resulted in the team's second score.

Carson's first score came at the 9:53 mark, and it sparked the comeback effort. She was followed by senior midfielder Kyla Crawford's goal that made it a 3-2 game at halftime. Senior midfielder Rachel Smith got some help from the wind on a corner kick that resulted in the tying goal, and the teams didn't score again until Carson's finisher.

Rogers High 3, Conway 1

Rogers scored its first goal at the 31:34 mark thanks to freshman Maggie Baston, and two more first-half goals went on to seal the deal.

Freshman midfielder Jourdan Badely followed Baston with a goal of her own with 25:18 on the clock. Rogers' third goal was a solid one, as the team got a breakaway and found junior Grace Carroll on a perfectly-placed pass that allowed her to sink the ball through the back of the net at the 17:15 mark.

Conway's goal came at the 13:23 mark in the second half when sophomore forward Kailyn Pavatt kicked a sideline rocket that bounced over the head of Rogers' goalie. The goal was not enough, however, as a series of missed shots and stifling defense by Rogers proved to be too much for the Lady Wampus Cats to overcome.

Andrew Epperson contributed to this report.

Bentonville’s Tyler Ann Reash (right) and Anna Passmore celebrate after Reash scored the winning goal to lift the Lady Tigers over Mount St. Mary 2-1 ...

Preps Basketball on 05/12/2018

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