Photographs by Ben Goff
Jose Vega (10) of Springdale High boots the ball into the net for a goal ahead of Bryant defender Thomas Bullington on Friday during the Class 7A state soccer tournament at Gates Stadium in Rogers.
Saturday, May 12, 2018
ROGERS -- Springdale High continued its season-long tendency Friday of winning close matches.
Jose Vega scored two goals and Michael Martinez added one to lead Springdale to a 3-2 victory over Bryant in the second round of the Class 7A state boys soccer tournament at Gates Stadium.
At Rogers Heritage
Match 9 Springdale 3, Bryant 2
Match 10 Fort Smith Northside 1, Fayetteville 0
Match 11 Rogers 1, Conway 0
Match 12 Little Rock Catholic 2, Springdale Har-Ber 0
Match 13 Springdale vs. Fort Smith Northside, 10 a.m.
Match 14 Rogers vs. Little Rock Catholic, noon
The nationally 14th ranked Bulldogs survived a late surge by Bryant, which scored two goals in the second half and came close to scoring on a few other attempts.
Springdale advanced to play Fort Smith Northside in a semifinal game at 10 a.m. today. Friday's victory was the ninth time this year Springdale (20-1-1) has played in a match decided by one goal.
Bryant (12-8-3) made the match interesting after being outplayed by the Bulldogs in the first half.
Springdale goalie Andres Aldaco twice raced out in the second half to beat a Bryant player charging toward the ball. Aldaco was accidentally kicked in the head the second time and dropped to the turf for several seconds before returning to the net, where he made a final diving save with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the match.
"(Aldaco) came up huge for us and, in the state tournament, that's what you need," Springdale coach D.J. Beeler said. "When we went against the wind in the second half, that really tipped the scales for them. It generated a lot more opportunities for them, plus they were pushing some guys forward. He came up in big moments and that's what you've got to do."
Vega put Springdale ahead on a goal with 24:55 left in the first half and Martinez made it 2-0 on a goal with 28 minutes left in the second half. The goal by Martinez was particularly impressive after he used his footwork on the ball to get in position for an attempt at the net.
"That was a classic Michael Martinez goal in that he just outworked the other guy," Beeler said.
Springdale needed a second goal by Vega to offset scores by Jhorman Cruz and Jonathan Guerra for Bryant in the second half. Vega, who missed a couple of scoring chances in the first half, put Springdale ahead 3-1 less than two minutes after Bryant scored its first goal with 14:32 left in the match.
"When you miss an opportunity or two it can wear on you," Beeler said. "But he fought through it and got the goals we needed."
Rogers High 1, Conway 0 (4-2 PKs)
Willie Hernandez pointed a finger to the sky, and turned to acknowledge the Rogers fans in attendance as the rest of his Mounties teammates mobbed the senior near the 20-yard line.
After 100 minutes of play, Hernandez's penalty kick secured a 1-0 (4-2 in penalty kicks) victory. With the win, Rogers, the No. 4 seed from the 7A-West Conference, will play in today's semifinal match at noon.
Neither team was able to score during 80 minutes of regulation or two 10-minute overtime periods. After Conway missed on its first two attempts in the penalty-kick portion, the Mounties connected on four straight to secure the victory.
The Wampus Cats (18-3) appeared to score in the 22nd minute when Kristian Reed got behind the Rogers defense on a free kick, but was ruled offside to negate the score.
Rogers (13-10) had its chances to steal a victory in the second half of regulation. With just more than 12 minutes remaining in regulation, a Hernandez free kick ricocheted just over the crossbar. Then, with 9:35 left, a Mounties shot from about 40 yards bounced down off the crossbar, barely staying in front of the score line before Wampus Cat keeper Cole Hoover collected it for the save.
Little Rock Catholic 2, Springdale Har-Ber 0
Catholic High (13-5) had just enough offense to take down the higher-ranked Wildcats (12-6).
The Rockets, the No. 3 seed from the 7A Central, scored two second-half goals to dispose of the Wildcats, the No. 2 seed from the 7A-West. The Rockets advance to today's semifinal round, where they will play Rogers High at noon.
Catholic's Jack Nolen broke the scoreless tie with a one-timer in the 64th minute. Nolen, who got behind the Wildcats' defense, deposited a cross deep in the goal box for the score.
Catholic's Tyler Mackenzie scored the other goal for the Rockets.
Fort Smith Northside 1, Fayetteville 0 (OT)
Sophomore Jarvin Nieto scored just seconds into overtime to give Northside the win.
Northside controlled the ball on Fayetteville's side of the field in the second half but did not score. A goal by Northside with 12 minutes left was disallowed because of push in the back near the Fayetteville net.
The overtime game was the second consecutive for Fayetteville, which beat Fort Smith Southside 2-1 in an extra session on Thursday.
Josh Tinker contributed to this report
Sports on 05/12/2018
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