BENTONVILLE -- Augustin Herrera made the most of his first conference start for Bentonville, making the game-winning save in a sudden death shootout.
Herrera blocked Springdale Har-Ber's own goalkeeper Jonathan Sandoval. Herrera almost missed the shot, but he got just enough of his right foot on the ball to send it soaring over the goal. This came after the senior had already saved the Wildcats' first attempt and gave his team the win 1-1 (5-4 in penalty kicks) on Friday night.
"The first save was magnificent," Bentonville coach Mike Devaney said. "The second save topped it. It was an absolutely brilliant save."
Devaney was impressed with Herrera who had played sparingly this season until tonight.
"He was terrific," Devaney said. "He hasn't played a lot this season, but you saw tonight he's certainly a capable goalkeeper. He made a couple of really good saves in regulation. Obviously, in penalties, we're depending on the goalkeeper to pick us up a little bit after we had a little disappointment of not making one."
Sandoval, who had made save after save during the game, wanted an opportunity to be on the other end of a shot and asked Har-Ber coach Cory Butler for that chance, Butler said.
"Realistically, I just asked my boys which ones want to shoot," Butler said. "He wanted to shoot. I had five others I had picked ahead of him who wanted to shoot, and he was the sixth. He was OK with shooting it, wanted to shoot, had a decent shot, but the goalie made a good save."
The Wildcats (7-6, 3-5 6A-West) forced sudden death on their last shot after Thomas Ayala scored for the team. The goal capped off a strong turnaround performance by Har-Ber, which scored four consecutive goals after Herrera blocked Esteban Fuentes' first attempt.
Bentonville (9-3, 6-2)went with junior midfielder Elliott Nimrod in the shootout and he delivered a shot at the bottom right corner of the goal. There was no chance for Har-Ber to save it after Sandoval guessed wrong and dove the opposite way.
"In penalties, you're just looking for a guy to put his hand up. That's what you want," Devaney said. "Elliott said, 'Yeah, I'll take one.' So, you're looking for someone to step up, and he absolutely buried it. When Elliott put his hand and said, 'I'm confident,' hey, that's the way it goes."
Both teams had multiple chances to score in regulation, but neither could find the back of the net until the second half.
Har-Ber junior midfielder Jordi Estrada flicked a shot over Herrera's head in the seventh minute to take an early lead, but Bentonville junior midfielder Frank Suchara tied the game at the 20-minute mark on a header off a corner kick from junior midfielder Wyeth McKean.
Bentonville continued its undefeated win streak at home with the win and is now 3-0 in shootouts on the year. The Tigers also reaffirmed its status as the No. 2 team in the 6A-West in the thrilling finish.
"We do have a flair for the dramatic," Devaney said.
Rogers High 2, Van Buren 1
Esteban Chavez and Maynor Sandoval each scored a first-half goal and the Mounties held on to pick up the 6A-West Conference win.
The Mounties (8-4-2, 5-3 6A-West) took a 2-0 halftime lead and held on for their third consecutive win.
The Pointers (4-4 6A-West), who have now lost three in a row, got their lone goal from Johnny Viella less than a minute into the second half.
Rogers High 6, Van Buren 0
The Lady Mounties cruised to the easy win to remain undefeated in 6A-West play.
Jourdan Badely, Eli Verser, Grace Stahr, Haley Arrick, Aly Todd and Julia Davis all scored for the Lady Mounties. Rogers (15-1, 8-0 6A-West) led 3-0 at halftime.
Sports on 04/13/2019
Print Headline: BOYS SOCCER Bentonville outlasts Har-Ber in PKs