PREP SOCCER: Harding Academy (19-0) wins 4A title

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CONWAY -- New classification, new opponents, same result for Harding Academy.

The Wildcats, in their first season in Class 4A, defeated Joe T. Robinson 2-0 in the girls soccer state championship game Friday at Estes Stadium to complete an unbeaten season.

"We just really didn't know what to expect in 4A," Harding Academy Coach Angie Harlow said. "We knew we were looking forward to some good competition, and we met that. ... It's just been a really good year and to do it with this group, has just been incredible."

The Wildcats (19-0) got things started in the eighth minute Friday when Jamanno Alanudo was taken down just inside the penalty box. Kloey Fullerton scored the penalty kick to give Harding Academy a 1-0 lead.

The teams entered halftime at the same score despite Harding Academy dominating possession and shots on goal.

"That really hurt us when we fell behind 1-0," Robinson Coach Todd Eskola said. "We felt like if it was 0-0, we were in great shape, and that [goal] really killed us."

Senior captain Anna Snow was a terror down the right wing for Harding Academy throughout the match. In the 44th minute, she received a pass from midfield, cut inside a defender with the ball and placed it in the bottom right corner to take a 2-0 lead. Snow was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Harding Academy's other senior captain, defender Calle Citty, held Robinson to a handful of shots. The Wildcats' defense played a large part for a team that outscored its opponents 98-5 this season.

"[Snow] and Calle both have just been amazing leaders," Harlow said. "The MVP could have gone to either one of them. Calle is the heart and soul of our defense, and Anna is the heart and soul of our offense. So it's just neat to see them succeed in their senior year."

Harding Academy and Robinson met twice in the regular season, with the Wildcats taking both games by a combined score of 5-1.

With Harding Academy holding onto a 2-0 lead, Robinson got a handful of second-half chances to end the shutout but came short of a clear-cut opportunity.

"That didn't change the way we played," Eskola said. "We just wanted to go out and play soccer. We had a couple of chances that didn't go our way.

"We're proud to be the only public school playing women's soccer today. We knew what we were up against today. They got a great team. ... They're the only undefeated team in the state and we played them [to] 2-0, so I'm super proud of my kids."