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Rogers' Patrick big in second-half rally

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Photographs by Charlie Kaijo

Rogers midfielder Skylurr Patrick drives the ball down the fi eld during the Class 7A girls soccer state tournament semifi nal Saturday at Rogers High School. Patrick scored both of Rogers’ goals in a 2-1 victory over Fort Smith Southside.

ROGERS -- Skylurr Patrick refused to let Saturday be the final game of her high school career.

Patrick scored two second-half goals to lead Rogers to a 2-1 comeback victory over Fort Smith Southside in the semifinals of the Class 7A girls state soccer tournament at Whitey Smith Stadium. Southside led 1-0 until Patrick scored with 34 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second half. The senior midfielder then put Rogers ahead with her second goal of the day with 20:41 remaining in the match.

The victory put Rogers in the championship game against Bryant, which defeated Bentonville 1-0 in Saturday's other semifinal.

"I talked to Skylurr about, 'Hey, this game is ours and it's your senior year,' " Rogers Coach Aaron Crouch said. "I don't want it to be over for you in 40 minutes."

It wasn't.

Patrick's second goal was particularly impressive after she outmaneuvered a Southside defender near midfield for the ball. She gained control and drilled a shot into the net from 35 yards away to give Rogers (18-5-1) the lead for good.

"I saw a miss-touch and took advantage of that," Patrick said. "I got in front of the girl because if she kicked me, it would've been a free kick. I lined up the shot and it went in."

Patrick moved to the back of the defense in the final stages of the match and helped keep Southside (16-7) from tying the game. The Lady Mavericks had a clear attempt in front of the net with 35 seconds left but could not convert on a shot that sailed high.

"My defense got tired after two games in two days," Crouch said. "I had to make some adjustments and put some new girls in. Skylurr's strong in the air, she's smart, and she sees the ball well. She brought some energy back there."

Southside went ahead 1-0 on Kyla Crawford's goal with 29:33 left in the first half. The lead stood until the second half when Patrick took over.

"I knew for myself this wasn't going to be it," Patrick said. "I knew in my head it was a 1-0 game and that it was anybody's game. just pushed myself harder."

BRYANT 1, BENTONVILLE 0

Alyssa Fason scored less than 10 minutes into Saturday's match and that goal held up in Bryant's victory over Bentonville in the other semifinal.

"I told the girls before the game that if we played well, there was no team better than us," Bryant Coach Nicole Inman said. "It was a pleasure to play against [Bentonville]. I've never coached against them before. I'm really proud of the ladies. They showed a lot of heart."

Bentonville couldn't get anything going offensively until midway through the second half. The Lady Tigers had a handful of chances late but were turned away each time by senior Bryant goalkeeper Brittney Warner.

Fason got behind the Bentonville defense and scored from about 15 yards with 31 minutes left in the first half. Fason made an earlier rush when she was met by a Bentonville defender and nearly tackled as both players crashed to the turf.

Bryant had other chances in the first half against Bentonville, which did not have a shot on goal. Mary Catherine Selig shot high on a clear attempt at the net and Fason's attempt with the left foot in traffic was stopped at the Bentonville net.

Southside’s Kelly Carson (left) and Rogers defender Ashlynn Robinson fight for possession of the ball during the Class 7A girls soccer state tournamen...

Sports on 05/13/2018

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