Soccer match at Skiatook goes to ‘Dogs

MIKE ERWINJOURNAL-CAPITAL

SKIATOOK — The Olivia Newton-John song, “Let’s Get Physical,” would have supplied appropriate background music for the high shool soccer match Thursday between the Pawhuska Lady Huskies and Skiatook Lady Bulldogs.

Actually, some socially-incorrect rap noise referencing mistreatment of “yo’ woman, maaan” might not have been too far off the mark.

In a battle between unbeaten squads, the Lady Bulldogs claimed victory for the seventh time this season with a roughly-exacted 3-1 decision over the smaller-class Lady Huskies.

The rock-‘em, sock-‘em dog fight at Exchange Bank Stadium included tripping, knockdowns, elbowing, throwdowns, hair-pulling and more.

Flagrant violations elicited frequent outcries from spectators, but apparently went unnoticed by match officials. Finally, with 15 seconds left to play, a Skiatook player was somewhat patronizingly disqualified for an action which, by that stage, seemed fairly routine.

“That wasn’t a game, it was a war,” PHS coach Gary Hughes said afterward. “Things kind of got got out of control, but that’s the way they called it.”

With its first loss of the season, the Pawhuska squad now has an official season record of 3-1. (Two earlier home triumphs are being considered junior-varsity contests.)

Hughes said he particularly disagreed with the way players in the Skiatook match were allowed to use their hands in the match. It should be noted, though, that the Lady Huskies gave nearly as well as they got in the extra-physical versus the Lady Bulldogs, who are ranked as the No. 3 team in Oklahoma Class 5A.

“They accounted for themselves well,” said Hughes of his Lady Huskies, many of whom had particicipated in a track meet earlier in the day. “All in all, it was a very good effort.”

Skiatook tallied all of its goals before Pawhuska finally managed to get on the scoreboard. With 18:18 remaining in the 80-minute contest, PHS junior Carlie Culver unleashed a high-arched corner kick that hooked over the home goalkeeper and into the back corner of the net.

“It was the highlight of the night, as far as I’m concerned,” the local coach said regarding the superb left-footed goal by Culver. “You won’t see many kicks as good as that one.”

The Lady Bulldogs, who improved to 6-0, scored twice in the first half and again midway through the second. Junior forward Madison Stuckey got things started for Skiatook in the twelfth minute of play when she buried an 18-yard free kick into the lower left corner.

Later in the opening session, Stuckey provided a booming assist to freshman midfielder Paige Lorenzo, who chipped in a breakaway goal to make the score 2-0 at the 15:16 mark. Skiatook went up 3-0 around the midway point of the second half (21:01) when freshman Brooke Fugate booted in a goal off a corner kick by Stuckey.

Lady Huskie goalkeeper Andee Sweeden dived to her left to make a spectacular late grab of the low shot. Sweeden, a sophomore who already has recorded 2 1/2 shutouts this year, had 11 saves on the night. Skiatook netminder Taylor Hendrickson finished saved seven shots.

PHS was slated for a home match Tuesday night against the Ft. Gibson junior varsity. As game time approached, the weather forecast made prospects bleak for that game to be played, however.

Pawhuska’s girls will open their all-important Class 4A-District 8 schedule next Monday evening with a 6 p.m. match at Verdigris. The host Lady Cardinals, who are the three-time defending 4A state champs, have won only two of five outings this year.

In a tournament last weekend at Stillwater, Verdigris beat Class 6A Edmond Santa Fe (3-2) and 5A’s No.-7 team, Coweta (4-1). The Lady Cardinals then lost, 1-0, to Claremore, the top-ranked team in 5A.

The latest Class 4A rankings assign the No. 1 ranking to Catoosa (5-1), the team that defeated the Lady Huskies (2-1) in last year’s state tournament. Ranked second is Ft. Gibson (4-1)and the No. 3 spot belongs to Glenpool (5-3), which Skiatook had recently knocked off in a 2-1 overtime match.