ROGERS -- As the second-half clock ticked under 34 minutes, a fluke handball from Springdale High sophomore Sylvestre Martinez inside his team's box resulted in an easy goal for Rogers.
Shortly thereafter, the Mountaineers had the perfect opportunity to tie things up when they found space behind the Bulldogs' goalie, and the ball appeared to be unimpeded in its short-rolling path toward the net.
Martinez made up for his earlier mistake and sprinted after the shot, and he booted it away with about an inch to spare. The sequence saved the match for the Bulldogs in a 2-1 victory at Whitey Smith Stadium on Friday in 6A-West Conference boys soccer.
"Me and the keeper worked hard enough to get it out of the goal," Martinez said. "We had to get it out and save the team."
After a two-goal first half in which Springdale seemed to live on Rogers' side of the field, the Bulldogs (5-2, 4-0 6A-West) seemed to be in complete control of the contest. Another goal would have likely put the game away, but the 33:45 score from Rogers senior midfielder Trey Keith made things interesting. The home squad built on the goal with several offensive pushes that had the potential to tie things up.
"That led them back into the game and shifted the momentum a little bit, but I thought we did a good job at the end of the game with game management, being smart about what we should do to close it out," Springdale coach DJ Beeler said.
While intelligence and control certainly aided in staving off Rogers' comeback attempt, two other virtues were needed to keep the Mountaineers (5-2, 2-2) from putting up another goal at the 29 minutes, 51 seconds mark: luck and determination.
Rogers senior forward Nelson Rivas darted down the left side of the field past several Springdale defenders, and he connected on a simple ground shot that went past the goalkeeper, who was out of position. As the ball rolled toward the net, it was clear that Rogers would tie the game and have a chance to end the Bulldogs' perfect clip in conference. That's when Martinez appeared from behind to sideswipe the shot away just milliseconds before it went through, and the home crowd responded with collective groans.
"It's unfortunate what happened to him because it was accidental, and there was nothing he could do about it," Beeler said. "He just got right back into the game and continued to play and made a big play for us. That's what you want."
Seniors Javier Solis and Jose Vega scored Springdale's goals, both of which came in the first half. The former punched it through the net's left corner at the 19:44 mark, while the latter connected on a beautiful volley shot from 35 yards out. Martinez said it was important to make those goals count by eking out a win through tough plays that don't show up in the postgame stats.
Bentonville 3, Fayetteville 2
Rodrigo Mouron's goal with 26:48 left in the first half gave Bentonville a lead never relinquished as the Tigers slipped past Fayetteville at the Tiger Athletic Complex.
Bentonville (6-2, 3-1) maintained a 1-0 halftime cushion, then added second-half goals by Andrew Wagner at the 31:10 mark and Thomas Borenholtz with 11:20 remaining. Fayetteville (4-5, 0-4) picked up breakaway goals from Parker Price with 23:37 remaining and Jose Carrero with 9:35 left.
Van Buren 5, Rogers Heritage 4
The Pointers rallied from a 4-0 deficit to claim the 6A-West Conference win.
Springdale Har-Ber 1, Bentonville West 1 (5-4 PKs)
The Wildcats bounced back from its loss earlier this week to edge Bentonville West on penalty kicks Friday night.
Thomas Ayala powered a goal into the net for Springdale Har-Ber, and Blake McDoulett found the back of the net for West.
Bentonville 1, Fayetteville 1 (5-3 PKs)
Bentonville was perfect on its penalty kicks, while Lady Tigers goalkeeper Bre East blocked Fayetteville's first attempt to set up the victory.
Carrie Kotoucek clinched the win with the fifth penalty kick for Bentonville (11-3, 4-0), while Ginger Olson, Tyler Ann Reash, Angelina Diaz, and Megan Sattler scored on their tries. Bella Kieklak, Georgia Templeton and Alison Byars scored Fayetteville's penalty kicks.
Bentonville took a 1-0 lead in the first half off a Diaz goal, and that stood until Fayetteville (2-5-1, 2-2) scored with heavy traffic in front of the goal with 6:25 remaining.
Rogers Heritage 12, Van Buren 0
Pam Seiler scored two goals, while Kate Alvarado had a goal and two assists as the Lady War Eagles rolled over the Lady Pointers.
Heritage (7-3, 3-1 6A-West) got going early and led 9-0 at halftime. Brooklyn Ligi, Kenadi Coones and Ally Ribar each had a goal and an assist for the Lady War Eagles.
Bentonville West 3, Springdale Har-Ber 1
Samantha White, Rachel Higgins and Tyler Outhouse each scored a goal as West earned a 6A-West Conference victory at Har-Ber.
Brianna McSpadden, Sydney Williams and Tara Garringer had an assist apiece, while Jenny Meeker had 18 saves for the Lady Wolverines (5-4, 2-2).
Sports on 03/30/2019
Print Headline: PREP SOCCER Springdale High holds off Rogers