The Greenwood Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs soccer teams both fell short of making the 5A post-season this spring, each finishing in fifth place in the 5A West conference standings with identical 7-7 league records.
Overall the GHS girls had a winning record of 11-8-1, while the GHS boys came in at 10-10 overall, a huge improvement over last season’s five-win campaign.
Both Greenwood squads reached the playoffs last season and won their opening-round matches, but the league was just too strong in 2019.
In boys’ play the 5A West boasted three of the top six 5A teams in the state – Russellville, Little Rock Christian, and Siloam Springs with a combined overall record of 43-13.
On the girls’ side of things the 5A West wasn’t quite as dominate except for #1 Little Rock Christian (17-1-1, 13-1). Greenbrier, Russellville, and Siloam Springs combined for a 42-19-1 overall mark.
Head Coach Andrew Post and his Lady Bulldogs finished the season strong, winning four of their last five matches, but that lone loss (1-0) at Siloam Springs cost them dearly, ultimately keeping them one game behind Greenbrier in the conference standings.
A first half goal was all the Lady Panthers needed as the Siloam Springs defense completed the 1-0 shutout against Greenwood on April 23rd.
Three days later the GHS girls earned a shutout of their own, 2-0 over Beebe with both goals coming in the second half.
Last Tuesday, April 30th, the offense showed up big time for Greenwood in a 7-1 blowout win at home over Alma.
The Lady Bulldogs peppered the net for four first-half goals, plus three more in the second half. Alma’s lone score came before the intermission.
Junior Bella Mora scored four times for the GHS girls, followed by senior Masheayah Moore with three goals.
The Lady Panthers of Greenbrier finished two games ahead of Greenwood in the league standings despite falling to the Lady Bulldogs in the regular season finale last Friday.
Both teams scored single goals in the second half, resulting in a 1-1 tie at the end of the match. Greenwood then won 2-0 in the shootout. Bella Mora scored the lone GHS goal in regulation play.
Greenbrier finished 9-5 in league play with Greenwood at 7-7.
The Lady Bulldogs will also be losing three seniors and three foreign exchange students after this season, including top scorers Masheayah Moore and Paula Burillo.
First-year Head Coach Tyler Woods and his Bulldogs engineered a major turnaround this spring, winning seven conference games and 10 matches overall. Woods came to Greenwood this past season after starting the soccer program at Beebe.
The ‘Dogs lost 6-1 at Smith-Robinson Stadium to Siloam Springs on April 23rd. The match was close at the half with the visitors leading 2-1. But four second-half goals by the Panthers put the match out of reach.
Three days later on the 26th the Bulldogs battled the Beebe Badgers to a 2-2 tie at the end of regulation play, then dominated the shootout 4-1 for the GHS victory.
On Tuesday, April 30th, neither Greenwood or Alma could score in regulation play at Smith-Robinson Stadium, forcing the match into a shootout, won by the Bulldogs, 5-4.
Then last Friday the Bulldogs traveled to Greenbrier with a chance to clinch a playoff slot with a win. Both teams entered the match with identical 7-6 conference marks.
For the third consecutive match the GHS defense pitched a shutout in regulation play, but the Bulldogs’ offense was likewise stymied by the opposition.
An incredible shootout followed with post-season play riding on almost every kick for both teams, but ultimately Greenbrier took home the prize, winning the kickoff, 9-8.
While Coach Woods was able to turn things around quickly for this year’s squad, another challenge awaits next season after losing 11 seniors to graduation this month.