Lady Hornets finish inches away from State title


FAYETTEVILLE — An inch further or a second later.

Just less than the midway point in the first half, the Lady Hornets were in the midst of an attack that drew Lady Tigers’ keeper Gabby Miller away from the box. In a cluster of players, somehow Bryant’s Anna Lowery got a shot through towards the open goal. She didn’t get a lot on the kick but there seemed to be no one close enough to stop it from rolling into the goal.The Bryant Lady Hornets trailed the Bentonville Lady Tigers, 1-0, in Saturday morning’s Class 7A State championship soccer match at the pitch in Razorback Field.

But out of nowhere, Bentonville defender Morgan Freehling dashed it and, just as the ball was reaching the lip of the goal, booted it clear.

Again — this time with time running out at the end of the match — Lowery got a shot off a corner after Miller had pressed the ball out of the box. And again the ball was about to trickle into the open net only to have Freehling appear and boot it away.

The latter excruciatingly close — tantalizingly close — call came with 1:33 on the clock as Bentonville was trying to hang on to a 3-2 lead. Freehling’s plays robbed the Lady Hornets of two goals that would’ve turned the tables but, as it was, the Lady Tigers held on to capture the State crown in a battle befitting a championship match.

Continued here.