PRAIRIE GROVE -- Trinity Dobbs' second half goal broke a 2-2 tie accounting for the only point of the final 40 minutes, lifting Prairie Grove to a 3-2 girls soccer win on Tuesday, March 30.
"She's a first-year player who's really helped us," said Prairie Grove coach Mat Stewart.
The Lady Tigers overcame two fouls called inside the box that set up Dardanelle goals enabling the Sand Lizards to score from point-blank range and even the score twice.
Dardanelle senior forward Annette Navarette made the first penalty kick, tying the match at 1-1 with 14:01 remaining in the first half. Fifty-nine seconds later Dardanelle goalkeeper Bridget Dennis blocked a shot and later recorded a save at the 11:52 mark.
Alyssa LeDuc put Prairie Grove back in front, 2-1, with her second goal of the game with 9:46 showing.
Dardanelle senior Fatima Perez made a penalty kick following a controversial foul call with 8:44 left in the first half to knot the score again, at 2-2.
The Sand Lizards got two more chances via penalty, but couldn't convert on a long kick attempt by freshman Jayden Vazquez with just over four minutes to go in the first half. Vazquez kicked the ball over the goal with 1:53 on the clock and Prairie Grove goalkeeper Taci Vickery made a save with 43 seconds left before halftime, a feat she would repeat three times during the last two minutes of the second half to preserve the Lady Tigers' 3-2 win.
"We were like, 'No more penalties, stop fouling in the box.' There were some penalties that could have gone either way and we were on the short end of a couple, but to their credit they [Dardanelle] took advantage of those plays and scored when they needed to," Stewart said. "Group effort for sure. We have a lot of young girls, got a couple with a lot of veterans on our team and it took everybody we have tonight."
"Dardanelle is very well-coached, they're always a very tough team, they're traditionally a state tournament team so we knew we were going to having a tough game tonight. Dardanelle is fantastic. I can't say enough about them and their coaches and always a tough match when we play them."
Coming off spring break Stewart noted both teams struggled to get back into the groove.
"We were definitely rusty, but that goes for both schools coming off spring break so you really can't use that as an excuse," Stewart said. "We were definitely not at our best tonight."