Hornets face Bulldogs for 1st state title try Bryant back in business Hornets
BRYANT – Winning their first conference title since 2014, the Central No. 1 seed Bryant Hornets soccer team earned a first-round bye in the 6A State Tournament and will now play for their first ever state championship Friday when they face the West No. 1 seed Springdale Bulldogs at 2 p.m. at Razorback Field in Fayetteville.
Bryant Coach Rick Friday said it’s been all part of the plan.
“The boys have worked hard this season,” Friday said of the Hornets. “They’ve had a goal that we’ll win the conference championship and the state championship. We’ve just kept our focus since August.”
And there’s no doubt it’s been a total team effort.
“There’s been camaraderie,” Friday said. “We have leaders, but no one really tries to step on anyone else. Everybody has a role to play. We have our playmakers, we have our defenders, we have kids that are solid in the middle and all the puzzle pieces fit.”
The Hornets (16-2-2, 13-1 Central) defeated Van Buren 2-1 in the state quarterfinals before edging Rogers in a
5-4 shootout after a scoreless regulation, while Springdale (17-2, 14-0 West), which also won its conference and received a first-round bye, edged Northside 4-3 in the quarters and blanked Bentonville 3-0 in the semis.
“A lot of their kids have played club together since they were little,” Friday said of Bentonville. “They grew up together and they picked up some extra pieces this year to make them more solid. They have a really good program and they’re a really good team. They feel like they’re in position
BRYANT – The Bryant Lady Hornets are returning to Razorback Field in Fayetteville for the second straight year. After suffering a heart-breaking 3-2 overtime loss to the Rogers Lady Mounties in the title game last year, the Lady Hornets will attempt to finish the job this season against the only team they’ve lost to this year - the Conway Lady Wampus Cats.
Bryant and Conway will kick off for the 6A State Tournament title Friday at 4 p.m. at Razorback Field.
“Our goal was to have two Central Conference teams represented in the finals,” Bryant Coach Nicole Inman said after defeating Bentonville in the semifinals. “They’re (Conway) a good team. But my dad reminded me when I was in high school, we played a team once that beat us twice in the season, and we went and
to win the state tournament after coming up short in the semis the last two years. They realize this is their last chance and they’re motivated to go and do it.”
It’s been a balanced effort scoring for Bryant this year as nine Hornets have between 2 and 9 goals, with junior Brandon Delgadillo leading the way with nine. Sophomore Grant Jacuzzi followed with six, with senior Luis Lara and Henry Terry adding five apiece. Lara and Terry also are tied for the team lead in assists with five each. Junior goalkeeper Codi Kirby mans the net with 57 saves and five shutouts.
Bryant sophomore Addison Funk jumps to block a goal attemp in a match earlier this season. The Lady Hornets will take on the Conway Lady Wampus Cats in the 6A State Tournament championship Friday at 4 p.m.