FAYETTEVILLE -- Harrison's girls used the long-range plan to win the Class 4A state championship Monday afternoon.
The Lady Goblins scored their first four goals on shots from outside the box, and they claimed their seventh state title with a 5-2 victory over Pulaski Academy at Razorback Field.
It marked the third time Harrison has beaten Pulaski Academy for the state title, with the others coming in 2014 and 2016.
"We had some ideas of what we wanted to do," Harrison Coach Chris Pratt said. "Some of it worked, and some of it didn't work. We found some new ways to make things happen. A little bit of luck here and there didn't hurt, either.
"That was part of our plan. We wanted to challenge the keeper a little bit and challenge our team to step it up and get on instead of just dropping us. We had some nice long-range shots. PA did a good job on us, but we got lucky here and there."
Sophomore Sydney Shrum had two goals and was named MVP for Harrison (25-3-1), which went unbeaten in its final 25 matches following a 1-3 start. The first one came less than 14 minutes into the match as she took a pass from freshman Olivia Pall and drilled a 25-yard kick.
"My teammate passed the ball back to me, and I just kicked it over the goalie's head," Shrum said. "She just couldn't get the ball, and the kick felt awesome. My coaches have been telling me to take long shots all year long. I finally started taking them, and it paid off."
While Shrum's first kick was a long one, Brylie Parker scored on an even longer attempt. The senior was close to the near sideline when her free-kick attempt went over Avery Fiser's hands and into the top of the net for a 2-0 Harrison lead with 13:29 before halftime.
Pulaski Academy (18-2), which had its 17-match win streak snapped, pulled within 2-1 when Mattie Hatcher hooked a corner kick into the goal with 6:05 before halftime. Harrison, however, regained the momentum when Claire Doshier's 40-yard kick went between Fiser and a PA defender at the 28:01 mark.
"We just didn't get enough pressure on the ball and made too many individual mistakes," Pulaski Academy Coach Chris Owen said. "That kind of cost us. We looked a little young because we have a lot of freshmen, and we started a little bit nervous.
"When we got it back to 2-1, I thought we could get back in it. Then we make another mistake and it's 3-1. We had a mix-up, and that happens. Unfortunately, it was a big game for that to happen."
Harrison's other two goals were much closer as Olivia Pall scored from 20 yards out on a breakaway attempt, and Shrum picked up her second goal two minutes later. Hatcher then scored again with 5:25 left for Pulaski Academy, which is winless in its last five appearances in a state championship match.
Harrison’s Kenzie Parker (left) and Shaylee Cagle (right) celebrate with Brylie Parker (center) after the Class 4A girls soccer state championship match at Razorback Field in Fayetteville. The Lady Goblins defeated Pulaski Academy 5-2.
Sports on 05/21/2019
Print Headline: Harrison goes long for seventh state title