Members of the Grove High School varsity soccer team found success on Saturday, March 2, with a win at the Har-Ber Tournament in Springdale, Arkansas.
During the first games of the season, Grove topped the following Arkansas teams: Shiloh Christian School, Gentry High School, Huntsville High School, Har-Ber High School and Clarksville High School.
This is the first time in the program’s history, the team won a tournament.
“This was a good way to start the season,” said Head Coach Walker Botts. “It got us on the right track.”
Botts said the win could be credited to the entire team.
“Our girls played really well,” Botts said. “It was a collective effort.”
Botts said the defenders, specifically, had a good day, giving up less than six shots throughout the games.
Botts said this year’s team is still relatively young, having only two seniors on the roster.
In Saturday’s games, 11 sophomores and juniors started the game.
“It’s obviously exciting to be the first team in the soccer program’s history to win a tournament,” Botts said. “It’s really a credit to the hard work that this group of girls have put in since they entered the program.
“The thing I personally am most excited about is the way that we have been able to build on the principles of play that we have established over the past two years.
“Hopefully this will be the first of many firsts that this team can accomplish to build our own tradition for Grove soccer.”
The team will be back in action weather permitting, along with the boys varsity soccer, on Tuesday, March 5, in Westville.
Games are as follows: Girls Jr. Varsity at 4 p.m., Girls Varsity at 5:30 p.m., and Boys Varsity at 7:30 p.m.
About the tournament
Grove 7, Gentry 0
In the first game against Gentry, Grove had 19 shots on goal (11 on target). Gentry had one shot on goal (one on target).
During the game Raegan Hernandez scored three goals; Briley Pennington, Alyson Beaumier and Megan Gibbs each scored one goal; and MaDelaine Heffelman scored one goal and had one assist.
Emely Hernandez and Hannah Brown each had one assist and Madison Nutt had one save on goal.
Grove 3, Shiloh Christian 0
In the second game, the girls played Shiloh Christian, who won last year’s tournament.
In this game, Grove had 14 shots on goal, with nine on target. Shiloh Christian had four shots on goal with three on target.
Pennington scored two goals and had one assist. Raegan Hernandez scored one goal and had two assists. Nutt had three saves on goal.
Grove 1, Clarksville 0
In the championship game, Grove advanced to play against Clarksville High School.
The teams went scoreless in the first half. During the second half Grove finally broke through, scoring on a missed shot on goal by Raegan Hernandez that was followed up on and scored on by Pennington.
Grove kept the lead and won the game. Grove had 20 shots on goal with 10 on target, while Clarksville had two on goal and none on target. Pennington scored the only goal.
Ruben Hernandez contributed to this story.