LITTLE ROCK – After dropping a 5-2 decision to Bryant in the first 7A/6A South Conference game of the season, the Benton Panthers soccer team bounced back to defeat Vilonia 1-0, but fell once again on Friday on the road. With a 1-1 score at the end of regulation, the JA Fair War Eagles won a 5-4 shootout over Benton to put a tired Panthers team at 5-2 overall and 0-2 in the South.
The Panthers have played eight games in the past 11 days.
“We’re extremely tired physically,” Benton Coach Bobby Winn said. “They gave it everything they had, it’s just we were tired, made some bad decisions in the first half, individually, and it cost us when we gave up the goal. We played much better in the second half. We played how we can play, we just didn’t capitalize.
“We need a break bad. We’re just worn out physically.”
The Panthers will get that much-needed break as they will not play through spring break and will go against Sheridan in conference action on Tuesday, April 1.
Senior David Powery scored Benton’s lone goal in regulation with the assist coming from junior Michael Betyo. A telling stat for the lack of success for Benton was the Panthers hit just 1 of 16 shots on goal.
“We beat ourselves,” Winn said.
“This is a totally different team than last year. We’re building. We’re young, so that seasoned experience will be great for us, even in the losses, because we’re building to make it deep.
“We have to get that experience with each other, that way, by the time we play in May, we’re one unit. We’re not all on the same page yet.”