RUSSELLVILLE -- In a rematch of the last two year's Class 6A state girls soccer championship, the four-time defending state champion Siloam Springs Lady Panthers got the best of Russellville again on Tuesday night.
The Lady Panthers toughed their way through strong winds and scored a first half goal that stood up in a 1-0 victory over the Lady Cyclones at Cyclone Stadium.
"Anytime you can go to Russellville and win on a cold windy night, it's a bonus," said head coach Brent Crenshaw. "We'll take it."
The Lady Panthers won their fourth straight and improved to 11-2-2 overall and 3-0 in 5A/6A District 1.
With the wind at their back in the first half, the Lady Panthers had several scoring chances and finally got on the scoreboard late in the first half when Megan Hutto beat her defender down the sideline and crossed to Laura Morales in the middle for a goal.
Siloam Springs looked like they added a second goal but Shelby Johnson's goal was overturned when she was called for a foul.
Head coach Brent Crenshaw disagreed with the call on the sophomore Johnson.
"She didn't foul the girl," he said. "She was just stronger."
Playing into the wind in the second was more of a chore, but the Lady Panthers were able to maintain the shutout victory.
"We played just well enough to win," Crenshaw said. We've got to finish these chances we're missing. That's unlike us. We're just not finishing well and putting teams away."
Siloam Springs and Russellville went toe-to-toe on Tuesday in a scoreless game until the Panthers caught a break in the final 10 minutes.
Russellville was whistled for a handball in the 18-yard box late in the game, and Siloam Springs was awarded a penalty kick.
Christian Marroquin scored on the PK and the Panthers made the goal stand up in a 1-0 victory over the Cyclones in a matchup of top 6A teams.
"Russellville's a good team," Crenshsaw said. "It ended up being a good game between two really good teams. We were fortunate to finally get a call. I felt like we've had three or four times where that's happened this year and we haven't gotten the call."
The win was the Panthers' fourth straight and they improved to 8-4-3 overall and 3-0 in 5A/6A District 1. It also was the Panthers' seventh shutout.
"The defense did an outstanding job," Crenshaw said. "(Goalkeeper) Wyatt (Church) had an outstanding game. He had a couple of saves that were big time. We moved Luke Gumm to defense and he saved our butts a couple of times."
It was the first meeting with Russellville this season. Last season the Cyclones won both regular season meetings, but Siloam Springs defeated Russellville in the 6A-West Conference championship.
"It was a big win for us but we've got to get back to work," Crenshaw said. "We've got a lot of conference play left."
The Panthers and Lady Panthers were scheduled to play Benton in Clarksville on Friday, but the games were canceled because of weather. Both teams are scheduled to host Clarksville on Tuesday at Panther Stadium in conference play.Sports on 04/08/2018
Print Headline: Soccer teams win big matches at Russellville