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El Dorado advances to state quarterfinals with win over Marion

by Tony Burns | May 12, 2022 at 10:30 p.m.

El Dorado’s Marleigh Bonsall scored four goals Thursday as the Lady Wildcats dominated Marion 8-0 in the first round of the 5A State Girls Soccer Tournament at Memorial Stadium.

El Dorado goalkeeper Catelynn Connor didn’t get any action as the Lady Cats’ defense controlled the ball throughout the game.

“That was the defense doing their job,” said El Dorado coach Neville Matthews. “We tried to shut everything down in the midfield. The defense and the midfield was killing them before they crossed the half-line. She didn’t get a lot of action.

“I felt like the first half, once we got the butterflies out and settled down, we played our game and it opened up a lot.”

El Dorado built a 6-0 halftime lead and, after scoring two quick goals after intermission, finished the bulk of the rest of the match with reserves on the field.

The match was played almost entirely on the Lady Wildcats’ offensive end. London Ingram would open the scoring on a breakaway, going low past the keeper with 34:41 left in the half.

Bonsall found room to run free on the left side and, after missing on a few shot attempts, found the net at the 16:01 mark on a left-footed shot inside the far post. Less than a minute later, Bonsall took the ball way from a pair of Marion defenders and scored from 18 yards out with 15:21 remaining.

The Lady Wildcats scored again with 14:27, this time on some nice teamwork as Caroline Meadows passed to Ingram, who fed Bonsall for the score.

Meadows got in on the scoring act, dribbling from right to left to get around a defender before going far  post at the 12:17 mark. Millee Mobley added a goal, chipping it over the keeper’s head from 10 yards out at the 3:35 mark for a 6-0 advantage.

In the second half, El Dorado scored with 17:29 left when Meadows sent a perfect lead pass to Ingram, who shot past the keeper. Ingram would assist on the next goal, slipping a pass to Bonsall, whose blast with 15:22 left pushed the lead to 8-0.

“The defense focuses on London so we have (Bonsall) cheat to the backside so that’s by design,” said Matthews. “She just needs to start capitalizing on them. She missed her first four. But they try to shut London down because of her speed. When they shut her down, that opens up Bonsall. It opens up Meadows and it opens up Mobley on the backside.”

The Lady Wildcats will take on Greenbrier Friday at 2 p.m. Greenbrier beat Benton 1-0 on Thursday.

In other results from Thursday, Hot Springs Lakeside defeated Greene County Tech 6-1; Searcy shut out White Hall 10-0; Siloam Springs blanked Maumelle 6-0; Jonesboro topped Hot Springs 8-2 and Little Rock Christian stopped Van Buren 7-0.

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