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Bryant takes down Central with penalty kicks

April 20, 2011

The Bryant Hornets defeated Little Rock Central Monday night with penalty kicks. MATT TRAUSCHKE/Special to the Courier

The Bryant varsity boys soccer team finally had it.
On Monday night at Bryant stadium the boys finally were on the receiving end of a one-goal win against Little Rock Central. Bryant had suffered a one-goal loss in Little Rock to start the 7A Conference schedule.
Controversy ensued even before the ball was placed in play. Central forgot to bring their away jerseys so they had to wear white, forcing the Hornets back into the locker room to change into their blue jerseys.
The game started slow, but before long it picked up in intensity. After being in their own end for the first few minutes the Bryant mid-fielders, led by Alex Rowlan, Reed Evans and Justin Travis, started to swing the momentum Bryant’s way.
Chase Stuwart was the recipient of an assist when a shot-on-goal went into the net off a Central player. Bryant held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the half with a few clutch saves from goalie Jace Denker .
At half Bryant led 1-0.
Central came out on a mission in the second half only to be turned away time and time again by Bryant’s defense and keeper. Finally, at the midway point of the second half, Central scored to make it 1-1 game.
Both teams had shots on goal the rest of the half, but none were successful. At the end of regulation the score was knotted at one each, and the game would be decided by penalty kicks.
Denker was replaced by Victor Rodarte, who at the end of every practice plays keeper during penalty-kick practice.
Central had the first shot and scored. Forest Fowler answered for the Hornets. Central then scored on the next two shots, which were answered by Rowlan and Holden Chavis.
Central’s next shot was blocked by Rodarte, and then Ryan Watson just missed his attempt over the top of the bar.
Central missed its final attempt, leaving the potential outcome of the game up to freshman Bryce Denker, who showed nerves of steel by walking up and putting the ball in the net for the victory.
The boys erupted in celebration.
Bryant head coach Jason Hay said Reed and Rowlan controlled the midfield better than they have all year, and overall thought Monday’s win was a great effort by everyone.
He said the team has not had the best of luck at the end of games this year, and it was good to finally win a close one, especially against a Central keeper who has given up only one goal the entire season during regulation play.

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