The Arkadelphia Lady Badgers defeated Malvern in a sudden death penalty kick shootout Friday night, sending the Lady Badgers to this week’s 4A-2 District Tournament semifinals and also punching their ticket to next week’s 4A State Tournament in Batesville.
The Lady Badgers earned the top seed from the 4A-2 South Division with an undefeated conference record and hosted Malvern on AllCare Field at Badger Stadium in the first round of the 4A-2 District Tournament. As has been the trend during the winning streak, the Lady Badgers challenged the blood pressure and heart health of their more mature fans and followers before winning in sudden death to extend the season.
Freshman keeper Aijah Jenkins, stepping into the goal in a substitute role for the match, successfully saved the first Malvern attempt in sudden death and Lady Badger Cielo Castro found the back of the net to give the Lady Badgers the win. The two teams had battled to a 1-1 draw in the first round of five penalty kicks after the scored was knotted at 0-0 at the end of regulation.
With the win, the Lady Badgers advance to the tournament semifinals, which will be played this Thursday, May 4, also on AllCare Field at Badger Stadium. Arkadelphia is hosting the four girls’ and boys’ semifinal matches on Thursday and the two consolation and two championship matches on Saturday. Matches will take place at 1:00, 3:00, 5:00 and 7:00 each day although specific match times for each team won’t be set until after the first round is completed Monday night. Admission will be $5 per person and admission is good for the entire day of the tournament.
The first-round win over the Lady Leopards also qualified the Lady Badgers for the 4A State Tournament in Batesville May 11-13. The first round will be Thursday, May 11, at a time yet to be determined.
The win was the 11th straight for the Lady Badgers dating back to March 11. The Lady Badgers went undefeated in their 4A-2 South Division matches earning themselves to top seed in the South Division.