An eighth state title for the Lady Goblins is just one game away.
On Saturday afternoon at F.S. Garrison Stadium, Harrison lined up against the Lady Leopards to compete for the final spot in the Class 4A State Girls Soccer Championship. A tie ballgame at halftime ended with Harrison celebrating a 3-2 win to advance to the title game that will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. in the Benton Athletic Complex.
Just 50 seconds into the semifinal contest, the game was delayed for an hour due to a lightning delay. When play resumed, both teams were aggressive from the first kick.
The two teams exchanged shots off the goalpost in the early goings and the game became a defensive battle the rest of the way.
At the 8:10 mark of the first half, Clare Barger found her offensive groove. The sophomore followed up a goal kick by receiving a pass from Elise Bell and buried the ball into the back of the net from 20-yards to put the Lady Goblins ahead, 1-0.
DeQueen wasted no time returning the favor. The Lady Leopards moved the ball down the field and scored their first goal just 41 seconds later to tie the game at one apiece.
The score held until halftime and both teams came out of the Cash Center for the second half with determination. At the 30:58 mark, the advantage went to the Harrison squad when Clare Barger scored her second goal of the game. Oliva Pall took control of the ball in the right corner and fed the ball into the middle of the box. Barger rebounded the ball off her chest and then quickly sent a shot around the goalkeeper which energized the Harrison crowd as the lead went back to the Lady Goblins, up 2-1.
DeQueen was unable to match the Harrison intensity and with 23:09 remaining, the Lady Goblins built on their lead. Bell found a clear path from the top of the box for an unassisted goal that made it a 3-1 game in favor of the home team.
The Lady Leopards were able to put a dent in the score difference at the 15:10 mark when a corner kick was deflected and then knocked in by a DeQueen player.
Tensions were high the rest of the way as both teams were relentlessly trying to gain possession of the soccer ball.
Neither team were able to get a shot at goal the rest of the way and the Lady Goblins met at midfield to receive their ticket to the finals.
The Lady Goblins had 14 shots on goal while the Lady Leopards made 13 shots in the game.
Harrison was limited to just five corner kicks in the contest while DeQueen had five.
Maggie Salmon was in the goal for the Lady Goblins.
Barger’s two goals led the offense along with Bell’s unassisted goal. Bell and Pall each recorded one assist in the game.