Lady Huskies rekindle offense in back-to-back soccer triumphs

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Lady Huskies rekindle offense in back-to-back soccer triumphs

The Pawhuska Lady Huskies went on the road Monday to defeat the previously unbeaten Newkirk and provide solid proof that their high school soccer season is far from over.

PHS handed the Lady Tigers their first loss in eight matches by grinding out a 5-1 victory. Lady Huskie seniors Macy Hurd and Andie Sweeden scored two goals apiece and junior Genie Herren kicked in a long-range shot for the fifth point. The local girls led at halftime, 2-0, but Newkirk cut the lead in half when a shot snuck past the PHS goalkeeper, Jordan Kitchel.

Sweeden answered with a goal that put the Lady Huskies up, 3-1, and Hurd then scored again to make it a three-point advantage. Assists were dished out by Stephanie Clifton, Hurd and Sweeden. The win was the third in a row for the Lady Huskie squad, which is now 5-3 on the year and holding on to third place in the District 4A-5 standings. Pawhuska coach Giovanie Soliano said the most likely current scenario would have the Lady Huskies playing Mannford in a May 1 play-in match for the Class 4A State Tournament.

Monday night’s Newkirk matchup was added to the PHS schedule late last week following cancellation of a Tuesday meeting with district opponent Tulsa Central. (Tjhe Lady Braves were unable to field a team.) This Thursday will be “Senior Night” at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium when district foe Commerce visits PHS for what is expected to be the final home match on the 2015 season. Kickoff against the Lady Tigers is set for 6:30 p.m.

Pawhuska’s girls have now posted three straight victories since back-to-back district losses threatened to derail their postseason dreams. Last week, the Lady Huskies got their soccer season back on track with walkover home victories against the Northeast Oklahoma Association of Home Schools and Tulsa Rogers. Hurd scored four times versus NOAH as the Lady Huskies schooled the visiting Lady Jaguars, 7-1, on Tuesday. The District 4A-5 match against the Lady Ropers was called at halftime Thursday, with PHS in front, 9-0.

The locals led the home-schoolers at the break, 4-1, following two goals by junior Karissa Hughes and one each from Hurd and freshman Samantha Lookout. Hurd’s second-half hat trick included points scored via a header, a soft-touch lob and a power play. The final goal came with 19 minutes remaining when Hurd hit a turn-around kick after receiving a corner set-up from Sweeden. Freshmen goalkeepers Kitchel and Star Sweeden split the duties versus the Lady Jaguars. Alexis Drummond scored NOAH’s lone goal late in the first half.

Against Tulsa Rogers, Lady Huskie Stephanie Clifton scored her first of her three goals a minute and 14 seconds into the match. Thirteen minutes later, the Pawhuska sophomore put the home team up by three with a follow shot. Hughes had made it 2-0 with a goal at the match’s seven-minute mark. Sweeden scored off a Hughes’ assist for the fourth PHS point and Hurd increased the advantage to 5-0 with 18 minutes left before halftime.

Two minutes after goal No. 5 was scored, Genie Herren kicked in the sixth for the Lady Huskies — with Hughes again assisting. It was only 64 seconds later that Clifton scored her third goal of the night to make it 7-0. Clifton picked up an assist on the eighth PHS goal, which was scored by Sweeden with 12:30 remaining. Sweeden hit her third goal with 4:39 left in the half — concluding the Lady Huskie scoring. Kitchel recorded the goalkeeping shutout.