Soccer: Fuentes scores twice as Har-Ber wins 10th straight

Posted: April 19, 2017 at 1 a.m.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANTHONY REYES @NWATONYR Ivan Fuentes (18) of Springdale Har-Ber celebrates a goal against Springdale Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in Springdale.
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NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANTHONY REYES @NWATONYR Ivan Fuentes (18) of Springdale Har-Ber celebrates a goal against Springdale Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium in Springdale.

SPRINGDALE -- The No. 10 team in MaxPreps' national boys soccer rankings turned in its 10th consecutive win Tuesday night in Jarrell Williams Bulldog Stadium.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANTHONY REYES @NWATONYR Jessie Gomez (19) of Springdale and Brandon Ruvalcaba (24) of Springdale Har-Ber race to the ball Tuesday...

Springdale Har-Ber improved to 12-1 overall, 8-1 in 7A-West play and remained atop the league standings following a 2-0 win at rival Springdale High. Senior forward Ivan Fuentes' two-goal night led the Wildcats to their sixth road win in as many tries this season.

"Everything is positive and they're excited," Har-Ber coach Cory Butler said. "They're looking forward to each game one by one and playing well together."

Realistically, Butler said, he doesn't think his players mind whether matches are on the road or at home, and it shows. Har-Ber has yet to drop a match since falling to Springdale, 2-0, at Wildcat Stadium March 16. Asked what has contributed to his team's ascension most, Butler, without hesitation, pointed to three keys.

"One is playing well as a team, two is defending very well. Teams have trouble scoring on us. And three, anybody and everybody is scoring for us. ... We don't care who it is."

Tuesday night was Fuentes' night. The first of his two goals came with two minutes, 25 seconds to play in the first half, breaking a scoreless tie that eventually sent Har-Ber into the break with a lead.

His second score, with 16:30 to play, set the final score. A performance like that from Fuentes had been coming for some time, Butler said.

"He's been out there and creating things for us, it just hasn't happened for him in a lot of games," Butler said of Fuentes. "Tonight he came up big and caused problems for the other team. He just helped us out a lot."

Meanwhile, Springdale (9-5, 5-4) dropped its third consecutive match after a pair of losses to Rogers High and Rogers Heritage last week and have not scored in four of their last six matches since a 3-0 start to league play. Defensive issues have popped up for Springdale lately, too.

"I thought we played OK. I thought there were some things we could have done better in the run of play," Springdale coach DJ Beeler said. "We have really struggled recently defending set pieces. We've been getting scored on on other kinds of set pieces really overwhelmingly. It's something we've got to focus on and get better at. It's an attitude thing, honestly.

"I told them the good teams learn from their mistakes," he added. "That's what we need to focus on doing by the time the state tournament comes around."

The Red'Dogs had three solid looks on goal in the second half Tuesday night -- two missing just left of the bar, one saved by the Wildcats keeper. Har-Ber collected its fourth shutout of the season in the win.

Both teams return to play Friday with Har-Ber traveling to Bentonville High while the Red'Dogs hope to snap a losing skid at home against Bentonville West.

Rogers High 2, Rogers Heritage 0

The Mounties (9-4, 7-2 7A-West) scored a pair of second-half goals to pick up the win.

Rogers snapped a 0-0 tie with 17:30 left in the second half on a beautiful header by Willie Hernandez. It came off a free kick by Alex Balderas. Jessie Ramirez blasted the second goal high into the corner with less than four minutes left.

Heritage dropped to 10-4 overall and 5-4 in the 7A-West. Erol Banuelos hit the far post in the final minutes on a good scoring chance for the War Eagles.

Bentonville High 4, Van Buren 4 (7-6 PKs)

Hayden Townsend kicked the game-winning penalty kick as Bentonville outlasted Van Buren in a shootout Tuesday in Van Buren.

The Tigers (7-3-1, 6-3) had to battle back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in order to force the penalty-kick sessions. Miguel Wilches had two goals for Bentonville while Rodrigo Mouron and Jorge Townsend added one goal apiece.

The win, coupled with losses by Springdale High and Rogers Heritage, gives Bentonville sole possession of third place in the league standings.

Bentonville West 1, Fayetteville 1 (5-3 PKs)

George Shultz scored on a penalty kick to tie, then West connected on all five penalty-kick attempts to take a shootout win over Fayetteville at Wolverine Stadium.

Tyler Guentz, George Shultz, Blake McDoulett, Austen Duncan, and Tom Shultz provided the penalty kicks for West (5-10-1, 2-7), which won its second straight match after going winless through the first half of 7A-West play and has tied Fayetteville for sixth place.

Sports on 04/19/2017