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Mounties top Belles with overtime goal

by Mitchell Gladstone | May 13, 2022 at 2:19 a.m.

CONWAY -- Kate Raborn made the first save, the Mount St. Mary goalkeeper necessarily coming off her line and stopping a charging Grace Nowlin.

But as Raborn lay sprawled on the John McConnell Stadium turf, Rogers' Aubrey Holloway collected the rebound, lifting a shot over the Belles' netminder from 20 yards out.

Just 55 seconds into extra time, Holloway's golden goal pushed the Mounties past Mount St. Mary by a 3-2 margin in the first round of the Class 6A girls soccer state tournament Thursday.

Rogers, which trailed 2-1 with less than 15 minutes to play, tied it on Nowlin's goal in the 68th minute. But it needed the bonus session to advance on what was the warmest day of the year.

"We knew it was going to be super hot, and we knew that was going to be against us having to play most of the season in cool weather," Rogers Coach Oscar Cardona said. "The girls just had to find a way to fight and it had to be a gutsy finish there at the end."

As much as the Belles had no way of stopping Holloway's winner, they had even less of a chance to keep the Mounties' tying goal out of the net.

Minutes after Mount St. Mary's Savannah Bosley fired just wide of an open net -- a goal that would've pushed the Belles' lead to 3-1 with 15 minutes remaining -- Rogers (12-4-1) got going in the opposite direction. A bouncing ball landed at the feet of Nowlin and the junior fired a half-volley into the upper right corner, well out of Raborn's reach.

It wasn't the first time the Mounties tied the game .

Mount St. Mary (5-9-3) opened the scoring in the fourth minute, taking advantage of a 30-yard breakaway as Ava Hatfield slotted a shot past the Rogers goalkeeper at the near post.

The Mounties tied the score in the 22nd minute against the run of play as Grace Stahr also found the top corner of the Belles' goal.

Mount St. Mary regained its lead shortly after halftime when Anna Kate Sufferidge rounded the goalie, going to her left before sliding a shot back across the face of goal and into the bottom right corner.

It was yet another lead that, for a while, looked safe.

"We had the next-to-worst offseason we've ever had," Belles Coach Don Bridges said, pointing to a number of ailments that limited his team throughout the season. "This is the best game we have had to date. ... I would've loved to have a win, but I'm tickled pink [with] the way these girls played. I couldn't have asked for anything more than what they gave us today."

As his team gathered underneath the bleachers, taking in as much shade as they could find, Cardona lugged a cooler from the Rogers sideline.

He wasn't going to dump it. With another game in less than 24 hours against a rested Fort Smith Northside, the Mounties were going to need all the fluids they could get.

"It was just one of those [games] where it's about who wants it more at the end," Cardona said. "We made a lot of rotations in the game just to keep everybody fresh. ... But now it's going to be more of a mental game."

North Little Rock 3, Springdale Har-Ber 0

The Charging Wildcats needed a bit of time to get going but put away Springdale Har-Ber (5-10-2) with relative ease.

North Little Rock (12-4-5) opened its scoring on Laney Hopkins' free kick in the 30th minute, finding the back of the net from 40 yards out to grab a 1-0 lead it would take to halftime.

The Charging Wildcats quickly doubled their lead out of the break with Selah Havens' cross setting up Addison Grogan. Three minutes later, senior Rylee Ellis caught the Har-Ber goalkeeper off her line, chipping in North Little Rock's third goal from 25 yards out.

Fayetteville 6, Cabot 0

Following a dominant 2021 state tournament in which they outscored their three opponents 9-1 en route to a championship, the Bulldogs left no doubt in their first-round matchup against Cabot (8-11-1)

Fayetteville (10-2-2) grabbed the opener thanks to Lauren Magre with an assist by Carson Wasemiller and Eleanor Lock added a second before the interval.

Magre found the back of the net for a second time right after halftime and Wasemiller's goal made it 4-0. The Bulldogs continued to pour it on in the late stages with Regan McIntosh scoring twice in a matter of minutes to settle the final margin.

Little Rock Central 3, Rogers Heritage 2

Maria Schuler scored twice to push the Tigers into the quarterfinals.

Little Rock Central (10-5-2) scored in the first 10 minutes through Schuler only for Rogers Heritage (2-7-6) to tie it on Brooklyn Goodson's header off a corner kick.

The Tigers grabbed the lead at the start of the second half as Schuler capitalized on a through ball from a Central midfielder. But the War Eagles answered once more, setting the stage for Ellyson Bradford.

The Tigers' senior midfielder scored the eventual game-winner, finishing at the near post.


Print Headline: Mounties top Belles with overtime goal

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