ROGERS -- Stephen Peck was looking for someone to step up in Friday night's 6A-West boys' soccer match that had playoff implications on the line.
With a first-round bye in the state tournament on the line, the Rogers High Mounties (11-5-2, 8-4) turned to Samuel Zamarron and Paco Jimenez to lead the team to a 3-0 win over Bentonville (11-5, 8-4).
"It was huge. When you're first or second seed, you get a bye, so you're only playing a possible two games instead of three in a row to make it through the finals," the Rogers coach said. "So yeah it's huge. I'd much rather play two than three and have that bye in the first round."
Rogers got strong performances out of Zamarron and Jimenez as the duo scored all three of the team's goals. Zamarron scored off a header less than three minutes into the match, and Jimenez added two goals in the 20- and 15-minute mark in the first half.
Zamarron impressed Peck, who called the junior's match his best one all season. Besides the quick goal, Peck thought Zamarron was able to break down Bentonville's defense in the first half with his sharp passes and putting himself in good positions on runs, he said.
Peck was pleased with how aggressive his team played in the win, which was something the Mounties didn't do the first time the two teams played each other, he said. Rogers won most of the 50/50 balls and were the first ones to the ball, which opened up scoring opportunities for the team.
"We didn't defend as good in this game as we did in the first game," Bentonville coach Mike Devaney said. "If you give a team chances in front of your goal and really good players chances in front of your goal, nine times out of 10 they're going to score goals."
Rogers' win means the teams split the season series after the Tigers won the first matchup earlier in the season on a shootout. Both teams now occupy the No. 2 spot in the 6A-West with only a week left in the regular season.
Peck remains confident his team can finish in the top two in the conference, he said. Rogers still has to play Springdale Har-Ber and Rogers Heritage to close out the season, which bodes well for the Mounties. Har-Ber and Heritage are both in the bottom half of the 6A-West and Rogers beat both teams earlier in the season.
The Tigers' path to a first-round bye proves a bit more difficult than the Mounties' as they still have to play a Springdale High team that is undefeated so far in conference play. The Bulldogs shut out Bentonville, 5-0, the last time the two teams met earlier in the season.
Devaney is not worried about how his team will finish in the standings or about if the Tigers will have to play three days straight come tournament time, he said.
"It's out of hands now, so obviously we're going to have to depend on others," Devaney said. "I'm not concerned about that at this point. I think we've played well in the last couple of weeks, so seeding is not a major concern at this point."
Springdale High 4, Fayetteville 0
The Red'Dogs locked down the 6A-West regular season title and No. 1 seed in the 6A state tournament with a shutout win.
Springdale scored two first half goals as Sylvester Martinez found the net on an assist from Danny Maldanado, and Jose Vega drilled a shot off a penalty kick.
The Red'Dogs added two more goals in the second half as Vega found Maldanado for a goal, and Nelson Barroso added another goal for Springdale.
Van Buren 3, Springdale Har-Ber 1
The Pointers earned a big conference win as Isaac Delafuente scored a pair of goals.
Jimmy Viella added another goal for Van Buren.
Landon Fulfer scored a goal for Har-Ber.
Harrison 5, Subiaco Academy 0
Harrison used the second half to do its scoring as the Goblins defeated Subiaco in a 4A-West Conference match Thursday that was moved from Subiaco to Clarksville because of field conditions.
Hunter Holtby picked up the assist from Corbin Simpson and scored at the 32-minute mark to break the scoreless tie. Hunter Thompson scored 3 minutes later, while Max Payne, Kaden Jones and Alvaro Fernandez each added a goal.
Rilee Jones recorded four saves on goal for Harrison (14-4-1, 7-1), which will be the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and will host Subiaco at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Bentonville 3, Rogers 2
The Lady Tigers scored two goals in the final six-plus minutes to snap a 1-1 tie and then held on for the 6A-West Conference win.
Abby Stolt scored with 6 minutes, 18 seconds left to give Bentonville the 2-1 lead and teammate Lauren Parker added another goal a couple of minutes later, which turned out to be big. Since Rogers' Elli Verser scored with a little more than a minute left to set the final score.
Bentonville (10-2 6A-West) still remains a game behind Rogers (17-2, 11-2) in the standings with two matches left.
Verser scored the Lady Mounties' other goal less than five minutes into the contest to give Rogers a 1-0 lead. But Megan Gotwalt got the equalizer with 30 minutes left in the first half.
Springdale Har-Ber 6, Van Buren 0
Giselle Estrada recorded a hat trick as the Wildcats rolled to a shutout win Friday.
Estrada added two assists for Har-Ber. Kania Starks scored a pair of goals and Kearstin Crumby also drilled the back of the net.
Sports on 04/27/2019
Print Headline: PREP SOCCER Rogers earns huge league win