Like looks, records can be deceiving.
Rogers Heritage entered Thursday’s game against Van Buren at .500 in 7A/6A West. Peel back the standings page and look at the results page and it’s easy to spot just how good the team is.
Brian Banuelos and company showed Van Buren just how quality they can be with an 8-0 win over the Pointers on Thursday night.
The War Eagles (3-2 in 7A/6A Central) poured in five goals in the opening 11 minutes, including two in the 11th minute alone, and never looked back. Banuelos scored three of those five.
Heritage’s two conference losses came against the class’ arguable best team in Springdale and to the other unbeaten foe in the Central, Springdale Har-Ber. One of their more impressive wins came against Northside. It remains the only Grizzlies loss this season, too.
"(Northside) was a great game. Same thing with Har-Ber. Every shot went to the goalie. We had our chances," Heritage coach Craig Frank said. "Tonight it seemed like we did just about everything right. Passes were where they need to be. Shots were where they needed to be."
The win didn’t perfectly, though. Banuelos was hobbled after he scored his fourth in the 27th minute to give Heritage a 6-0 lead. He grabbed his ankle after scoring and tried, literally, to shake it. He was substituted off for most of the rest of the half but did return in the second.
More pressing, Frank said, was the injury to Javier Piedra. The senior goalie only had to touch the ball a handful of times, but tweaked something in his foot on a punt late in the game.
We try to come out of the games injury free and we had two tonight we’re going to have to deal with. (Piedra’s injury) is pretty big. Brian just rolled his ankle on the turf," Frank said.
Van Buren (0-5) had taken positive steps in last week’s loss to Springdale. The Pointers allowed three goals to Heritage’s four allowed when the War Eagles played them. But an early Heritage onslaught quelled any chances for the Pointers to pick up their conference win. Occasions were rare Van Buren entered within 30 yards of the Heritage goal.
The Pointers’ best two chances came in the 56th and 58th minutes when they drew a pair of corner kicks. Both were well struck but found only the Heritage defenders and the War Eagles cleared both times.
Eric Grom scored two goals, each in the first half, as well and Saul Lopez added a penalty tally in the 20-minute, shortened, second half.
Frank is hopeful his team worked out a few of the kinks Springdale exposed and with a game against their crosstown rival next week and the rest will have Banuelos and Piedra back in form in time to make a march toward the playoffs.
Lady War Eagles 5, Lady Pointers 0
Hertiage’s Ellen Lundy scored all five goals to keep Van Buren winless in 7A-West play.
The long ball gave the Van Buren (0-5) back line all sorts of trouble as the Heritage (2-3) used it time and again to create space and chances. It’s how Ellen Lundy collected her first goal as she outran the Lady Pointers defense and easily punched one past the goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute.
Her second came courtesy of a super diagonal pass from midfielder Raya Jones in the middle of the pitch. Lundy timed her run perfectly and again zipped in unimpeded to put Heritage ahead by two.
"She’s our first Division I signee — Lipscomb University in Nashville," Frank said. "She’s the first one we’ve had on either side. Today with her five goals she’s up to 15 in the season. She’s scored on everybody but one team this year."
Van Buren goalkeeper Callie Chenoweth did well to limit the score. There was almost nothing she could do to stop any of Lundy’s goals and she made a couple of spectacular saves elsewhere in a strong effort.
Lundy tacked on two more in quick succession to start the second half to collect her total.
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Rogers Heritage 8, Van Buren 0
Heritage 7 1 – 8
Van Buren 0 0 – 0
Her – B. Banuelos, 2nd minute
Her – B. Banuelos, 4th minute
Her – Alpizar, 7th minute
Her – B. Banuelos, 11th minute
Her – Grom, 11th minute
Her – B. Banuelos, 27th minute
Her – Grom, 31st minute
Her – Lopez, 46th minute (pen.)
Rogers Heritage 5, Van Buren 0
Heritage 3 2 – 5
Van Buren 0 0 – 0
Her – Lundy, 10th minute
Her – Lundy, 17th minute
Her – Lundy, 30th minute
Her – Lundy, 42nd minute
Her – Lundy, 43rd minute