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Move benefits Hurley, Bentonville

by Rick Fires | April 6, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Placing freshman Kayla Hurley in a position for more scoring opportunities paid off for Bentonville.

Hurley scored the only goal of the match in the second half to give the Lady Tigers a 1-0 victory over Rogers on Monday in 6A-West Conference action at Tiger Stadium.

Hurley scored with 25 minutes, 52 seconds left in the match to keep Bentonville (8-0-1, 4-0-1 6A-West) unbeaten on the season. Hurley gained control with good footwork about 15 yards in front of the Rogers goal and kicked the ball hard into the far side of the net.

The score came after Bentonville coach Steven Porter moved Hurley from wingback to forward after the teams played to a 0-0 tie in the first half.

"I don't normally play out there, so I was a little nervous," Hurley said. "But I was excited, too, to have a better opportunity to score. On the goal, the ball went up and my teammate, Abby Armstrong, tapped it to me. I cut forward then kicked the ball into the net."

Hurley used her quick footwork to almost score again late in the game. She had two goals last week in a 3-1 victory over Rogers Heritage.

"Normally, we play with two forwards but I knew Kayla, with a little space and time, has the ability to hit the ball really well," Porter said. "As small as she is, she strikes the ball really well."

The Lady Mounties (3-2-2, 3-2) had a strong wind advantage in the first half but could not take advantage of a handful of scoring opportunities. Ashlynn Robinson sent two long kicks toward the goal that were stopped by Bentonville goalie Sofia Rivera. Rivera also stopped two shots on goal by forward Allison Golden.

Bentonville was able to complete more passes with the wind advantage in the second half. Bentonville just missed scoring when a free kick hit the crossbar minutes before Hurley put the Lady Tigers ahead 1-0.

"The wind was just not in our favor in the second half," Rogers coach Oscar Cardona said. "We weren't aggressive, we weren't physical, and we just got outworked. We had a great first half but the second half just killed us."

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