The longtime Harrison Head Soccer Coach is enjoying yet another solid campaign at the helm of the Goblins and Lady Goblins.
There must be something in the water.
On Thursday both Harrison squads recorded shutouts to move on to the quarterfinals of the Arkansas 5A State Tournament.
This year’s 5A state tournament, excluding the state title game, is being hosted by Harrison High School.
“It is huge for us to host. We get to sleep in our own bed, eat our own food and play on fields we’re used to playing on,” said Pratt. “Being at home and saving the money and being in a familiar environment is definitely priceless.”
Dozens of fans made their way out to the FNB Soccer Complex to witness the Goblins 3-0 win over Sylvan Hills.
After a scoreless opening 15 minutes, Heath Harding, Colton Spears, and Logan Patton all tallied first half goals to put Harrison (11-9-0) up 3-0 at the break.
“You have to come out strong, and in the first 15 minutes I thought we played well, we just couldn’t find the back of the net,” said Pratt. “Finally got one in and a couple more came. I think we played a solid 40 minutes.”
The Goblins would put it in cruise control, not scoring or allowing a goal for the final 3-0 margin.
“Second half was a little disappointing, but it’s human nature to back off a little bit,” said Pratt. “We’ll play three games in three days if we keep winning, so you gotta stay fresh.”
Harrison’s ability to bring quality players off of their bench wore down the Bears.
“We’re able to play 17 or 18 guys, bringing fresh ones of the bench, and we’ve felt comfortable doing that for a while,” said Pratt. “That is going to help us down the road, being able to keep our guys fresh.”
Many of those fans that watched the Goblins made the short walk over to ReMax Field to watch the Lady Goblins put the hurt on Little Rock Mills, 6-0.
Harrison (19-2-1) came out from the opening tap, ready to show exactly why they are the top seed in the West region.
Sophomore Tasha Woodruff’s three goals in the game’s opening minutes set the tone for a spirited Harrison effort.
“She was in the right place at the right time. We wanted to get an early start and make the game short; again, the potential of playing three games in three days is a tough thing to do, especially with our numbers,” said Pratt.
Harrison, who led 5-0 by the half, added a goal in the second half which saw balanced playing time across the board.
Much like the boys’ game, the Lady Goblins were able to utilize a talented bench.
“We’re fortunate enough to have enough players so that we can sub people in quite a bit. It was a good start; we finished well and did what we had to do,” said Pratt.
The Lady Goblins continue to build on what some are considering one of the better teams in a great lineage of Harrison Soccer.
Coach Pratt’s girls claimed its fourth 5A West Conference crown in the last five years on their way to the top seed in the West.
Harrison won its first 5A state championship back in 2011.
“This is probably one of the best girls teams we’ve had,” said Pratt. “It’s tough to compare apples to oranges, but this is definitely as strong of a girls’ team that we’ve had.”
In total, Harrison has won nine soccer state championships under the leadership of Chris Pratt.
Both Goblin squads will be in action Friday. Harrison will entertain the top seed from the East, Vilonia, a 3-2 winner over White Hall, at 12 p.m.
The Lady Goblins will face Batesville at 2 p.m.
Both games will take place at Harrison High School.
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