PHS girls soccer squad slated for rescheduled rematch

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer
PHS girls soccer squad slated for rescheduled rematch

The Pawhuska Lady Huskies were expected to start the high school soccer season Tuesday night on the same field where their 2014 campaign ended 10 months ago.

Coach Giovani Soliano had scheduled the opening re-match with the Glenpool Lady Warriors to be played in Pawhuska. Last weekend’s weather changed those plans, however. With snow still covering the frozen natural tundra at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium, the contest was moved to the artificial frozen turf of Glenpool.

Soliano was not on the sideline when the Warrior girls defeated his Lady Huskies last May in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state playoffs. (He had been suspended for an infraction that involved allowing an ineligible player to be on the sideline.)

“We are scheduled to play them twice — once here and once there,” Soliano said.

The PHS girls finished 11-2 last year. Their setbacks came on the road versus the two teams that wound up playing in the Class 4A champiohship match. Prior to the 6-0 defeat at Glenpool, the Lady Huskies lost to district rival Verdigris. Eventually, the Cardinals retaining the 4A state title with a 4-2 triumph over the Lady Warriors. (Glenpool finished the season 14-3 and Verdigris wound up 16-2.)

Pawhuska had played its way in to the state tourney with a home victory over Wagoner. Two days before the Glenpool game, the Lady Huskies posted a hard-nosed 1-0 playoff upset of No. 8-ranked Catoosa. End-of-season 4A rankings had the Lady Warriors at No. 1, ahead of No. 2 Verdigris, with PHS a distant No. 12.

OSSAA rules allowed for high school soccer scrimmages to begin Feb. 15. Because several PHS players were involved in basketball, Soliano said Monday that his squad has still not had a full-team practice. The Lady Huskies were planning to participate in a pre-season festival last Saturday at Ponca City, but the outdoor event was cancelled due to the weather.

The Pawhuska girls are slated for a 6 p.m. home match Thursday against Riverfield of Tulsa and a road match next Monday in Mannford. Also upcoming for the Lady Huskies is an Oologah tournament March 12-14. District matches will begin on the road at Oologah on March 24 and a district road showdown with the state champions is set for Tuesday, March 31.

At least five more regular-season matches will lead up to the 2015 state playoffs. Championships are to be played May 15 and 16.

“We want to still be there at the end,” Pawhuska’s second-year coach said. “Our tough schedule should get us ready for the playoffs.”

Verdigris won its sixth consecutive Class 4A championship match in 2014, although the 2009 and 2010 titles were officially vacated after the OSSAA ruled that the Lady Cardinals had used an ineligible player.

Pawhuska’s District 5 foes also include Commerce, Miami, Tulsa Central and Tulsa Will Rogers. There are seven other 4A districts.

The Lady Huskies graduated only three starters from last year’s squad. Top returnees include senior forwards Macy Hurd and Andie Sweeden, junior midfielders Keylee Kirk and Stephanie Clifton, junior forwards Genie Herron, Sarah Phillippi and Karissa Hughes, junior defenders Haley Mouser and Danae Laird, and sophomore goalkeeper Jenna Shulenberger.

Other members of last year’s roster are senior Ashley Youngwolfe, juniors Bailey Sutherland and Hannah Horn, and sophomores Sidney Sellers, McKenzie Fortney and Bret Smith.