Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SPORTS STORY >> SH girls win two titles in one day

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills Lady Bears won a pair of early-season tournaments in one 24-hour period last weekend. After advancing to the championship game of the North Shore Soccer Shootout at Vilonia, the Lady Bears beat the host team 2-1 in the championship game on Friday afternoon. The round robin tournament included a win over Hot Springs earlier in the week.

After Friday’s win, the Sylvan Hills girls picked up another piece of hardware for the trophy case on Saturday by winning the one-day Panther Invitational Tournament in Benton.

On Saturday morning, Sylvan Hills got past the tournament host, beating the Benton Lady Panthers 3-1. That win put them in the tournament championship game against Malvern. The offense continued to improve, as the Lady Bears scored four goals to beat the Lady Leopards by three.

Senior Abigail Persson, who recently signed with the Liberty University Flames in Lynchburg, Va., scored all nine of Sylvan Hills’ goals in the three games.

Persson entered the Saturday tournament four goals shy of 100 career goals scored. She reached that milestone with her second goal against Malvern.

Persson is the first Lady Bear soccer player to score 100 goals, and the first to sign a Division I scholarship. She is also this year’s SHHS valedictorian, and her academic scholarship to the private Christian college in the Big South Conference is worth $80,000.

Sylvan Hills got 5A-Central Conference play underway yesterday with a road match against nearby rival North Pulaski, and hosts conference foe Jacksonville at 4 p.m. tomorrow. Conference games are girls and boys games.