CONWAY -- Mount St. Mary scored in both halves and held on for a 2-1 victory over Rogers in the Class 6A girls state soccer tournament at Hendrix College's Warrior Field.
The Belles will face top-seeded Conway today at 10 a.m. on the Wampus Cats' home field at John McConnell Stadium.
Mount St. Mary Coach Stephanie Boccarossa thought her team played well.
"I've been telling the girls since Day One, even if you are playing a team better than you, you have to play with heart," Boccarossa said.
For the most part, the ball stayed on the Belles' end of the field, particularly in the first half when Rogers was limited to one shot. Mount St. Mary didn't have many more shots but made the most of them when Natalie Snook scored on a breakaway with 28:16 remaining in the first half.
Mount St. Mary didn't wait too long before scoring in the second half, taking a 2-0 lead with 32:13 remaining in the game. Senior Kaitlin Tarini scored on a free kick when Rogers keeper Mac Silva couldn't handle the long shot, with the ball bouncing off her hands and into the back of the net.
Rogers narrowed the edge to 2-1 four minutes later when junior Haley Arrick scored.
With 12:50 remaining, Rogers tired to take advantage of a corner kick, but Mount St. Mary keeper Kaydee Price made two stops, first diving and stopping one shot, then catching a second. It was only because of an error by Price that she needed to make both stops.
Boccarossa, who played in goal for the Belles when she was in high school, has been working with Price in goal since she was a freshman.
"I, as a keeper myself, I have faith in her," Boccarossa said. "I always told her if she doesn't think she can catch it, be sure to get something on it and she did."
Mount St. Mary had a key save with 1:40 remaining when Rogers had a numbers advantage on a breakaway. Price stopped the first shot, but another shot escaped from the scrum of players only to have Riley Hanan save a goal by kicking the ball away from the front of the net and preserve the Belles' victory.
The Belles face 6A-Central champion Conway, winners of both games against Mount St. Mary this year, both by 2-0 scores.
"We have some ideas of how we are going to take on Conway, but I can't divulge them, " Boccarossa said. "They are a really solid team. We have to be on our game.
"We played two tough games against them, and this will be our third tough game. We are confident, but we have to play our game."
CONWAY 4, ROGERS HERITAGE 1
The Lady Wampus Cats scored twice in a span of 2:17 of the first half in taking an easy victory over the Lady War Eagles.
"Our first half was a lot better than our second half," Coach Kevin DeStefano said. "We got on the scoreboard quickly and early, which is something we like to do but not something you are always guaranteed. Ultimately, there was a lot of effort out there, especially from our front three."
Tristyn Pavatt scored two times for Conway and assisted her sister, Kailyn, on another in the first half.
Rogers Heritage narrowed the margin to 3-1 when Lanee Knight scored with 22:57 left in the game, but Rebecca Boone put the game away by scoring with two minutes remaining.
BENTONVILLE 4, SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 0
The Lady Tigers scored a little more than halfway through the first half and cruised to a victory over the Lady Wildcats.
"These games are never easy, even if the score is like it was today," Bentonville Coach Kristina Henry said. "We had to do a lot of work in that first half, but I think we broke through at the right time."
Bentonville got goals from Tyler Ann Reash and Abby Stott almost 10 minutes into the second half to increase the margin to 3-0, then added another with 18:50 remaining on a corner kick from Madalyn Meyer.
Har-Ber managed just three shots on goal.
BRYANT 1, FAYETTEVILLE 0
Rachel Studdard scored with 26:28 left in the second half, powering the Lady Hornets to a victory over the Lady Bulldogs.
"I think we came out timid and not ready to fight right away, and so we allowed them the opportunity to get a little more confident," Bryant Coach Nicole Inman said.
Studdard's game-winner came on a corner kick that was cleared from the goal area and sent over Fayetteville goalkeeper Perry Flannigan.
Bryant was in control for a large part of the game, with the Fayetteville defense in a bend-but-don't-break mentality throughout. Offensively, Fayetteville had only three shots on goal.
Sports on 05/11/2019
Print Headline: Mount St. Mary handles Rogers