Tuesday, May 04, 2010

SPORTS >> Searcy boys facing rematch with Mountain Home

Searcy’s Steven Seitz, right, battles for the ball in last year’s state championship game.


Leader sportswriter

The 6A state soccer championships has a very familiar look.

The Searcy Lions are hoping to win their fourth straight championship in a rematch with conference rival Mountain Home in Fayetteville on Friday.

The Lions (19-1-1) advanced to the state finals for the fourth year in a row with a 5-0 victory over Jonesboro in the semifinals Monday. The championship match with Mountain Home is set for 8 p.m. at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

It is a repeat of last year’s game with the Bombers that the Lions won 3-0.

Searcy beat Mountain Home in both regular-season conference matches.

“We’ve played them twice, and they were both hard-fought ballgames,” Searcy coach Bronco King said. “We know Mountain Home is going to give us their best shot. We’ve got to prepare this week and have a couple of walk-throughs.”

The Searcy girls are also returning to the state championship and will face El Dorado on Friday at 6 p.m.

Mountain Home entered the boys state tournament as the No. 2 seed out of the East and received a first-round bye.

The Bombers defeated Sheridan 3-1 in the second round on Saturday, and downed Little Rock Hall 4-1 in Monday’s semifinals to set up the rematch.

Jonesboro kept things close in the first half of the semifinal with Searcy, but Lions leading scorer Steven Seitz scored three second-half goals for his third hat trick of the season to put the match out of contention.

“Jonesboro is a young team, and they had to play four games in five days,” King said. “The first half, I give Jonesboro a lot of credit. They came out with a lot of intensity and played real well.

“I think their bodies wore down in the second half; we went with a lot of subs and kept our guys fresh, and that opened up a lot of opportunities for Steven.”

Ian Hatchell gave the Lions a 1-0 lead with a goal midway through the first half, and Cam Woodruff added the fifth and final goal for Searcy after Seitz did his damage to the Hurricane.

The Lady Lions are headed back to the finals following a 3-0 victory over Jonesboro in the state semifinals on Monday.

Carrie Moon got Searcy going with a header for the Lady Lions’ first goal nine minutes into the match.

Moon’s shot came off a deflection by the Jonesboro goalkeeper when she blocked a kick by junior Elliot Scarborough.

Avery Albright and Sam Stewart scored a goal each down the stretch for Searcy, and the Lady Lions limited scoring opportunities for the Lady Golden Hurricane.

“The defense did a great job,” Lady Lions coach Larry Stamps said. “They got a little spread out, and we were trying to shore that up. Usually you can’t make adjustments like that if you haven’t practiced them, but these girls are pretty sharp.”

Searcy (17-4-2), which received a first-round bye as the 6A-East Conference champion, routed Sheridan 7-0 in the second round Saturday.

“They played West Memphis the night before, and they had two overtimes and a rain delay,” Stamps said.

“It was 9:40 before they got done that night, and when they came out to play us that next morning, they were worn out. And we used that to our advantage. Sometimes you just get breaks like that.”

ElDorado entered as the No. 1 seed out of the 6A South, and defeated Marion and Mountain Home to reach the finals.