The Mountain Home Lady Bombers and Cabot Lady Panthers matched up well on the field, and the end result showed on the scoreboard as well.
Each team scored off corner kicks late in regulation, with the Lady Panthers scoring the tying goal with 7:54 remaining to forge a 1-1 tie in 7A/6A-East Conference action Friday night at Bomber Stadium.
“(Cabot) had a lot more opportunities tonight,” Lady Bombers head coach Jeff Obert said, “but our defense was able to be in the right place at the right time. We matched up to this team really well. We play a similar style, controlling the ball. It proved itself on the scoreboard as well.”
Cabot outshot Mountain Home 19-12 in the match, with Lady Bomber goalkeeper Kira Bailey making 10 saves and Cabot keeper Riley Patterson stopping eight shots.
“Our defense played solid,” Obert said. “We were getting it out when we needed to. I can’t say enough about the way Kira Bailey played today. She stopped a lot of shots other keepers might not have.”
Cabot outshot Mountain Home just 9-6 in the first half, and the hosts had several long runs come up just short, including a pair of saved shots by Ana Helmert and Sydney Blevins.
Cabot put two hard shots off the crossbar, and Bailey made two diving saves in the first half, one of which she deflected off the crossbar.
“We took advantage of the opportunities we had,” Obert said. “There’s still some room for improvement where we can make a run and get it away from the keeper.”
After more than 60 minutes, the Lady Bombers (7-2-1, 2-1-1) struck first on a corner kick. Kaytlin Jones took the corner from the right side, and the ball was deflected twice — once by Helmert and once by Patterson. The ball caromed to Blevins, who tapped a shot high into the net for the lead with 19:52 remaining.
Cabot’s Braxton Reed and Tristyn Edgar, who took seven and five shots on goal, respectively, in the match, kept attacking the Lady Bombers’ net, but several of their shots missed by inches or were saved by Bailey.
Edgar finally scored the tying goal when a corner kick was tipped away, toward the middle of the field, where an unmarked Edgar blasted a hard shot from 20 yards out into the top left corner of the net.
Each team had just one shot on goal over the last 7:54 of the match.
The match was not decided on penalty kicks, due to Cabot being a 7A school and Mountain Home in 6A. Mountain Home’s matches against fellow 6A teams — Jonesboro, Marion and Searcy — factor into state tournament seeding, therefore only those matches receive shootouts after regulation.
Bombers 0, Panthers 0
The boys’ contest was just as even as the girls’ match, as each team attempted 17 shots and could not find the back of the net in a scoreless tie.
The first half was a true stalemate, with the Panthers outshooting the Bombers 6-5 and each goalkeeper making three saves.
Sam Reagan had a hard shot bounce off the crossbar, and Greg Aloisi had a header off a free kick grabbed by Cabot goalkeeper Jack Whisker.
In the second half, Mountain Home goalkeeper Brett Hensley made one highlight reel save, deflecting an open shot over the net. The senior made 13 saves on the night for the Bombers. Mountain Home played stronger over the final 20 minutes and put four shots on goal in the final five minutes, but the hosts could not collect the game-winner.
The Bombers remain undefeated on the season, moving to 9-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in league play.
The Bombers and Lady Bombers are idle until Thursday when they travel to Little Rock Central for another 7A/6A-East pair of matches.
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