Season ends for Pawshuka girls soccer team

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Lingering hopes of the Pawhuska Lady Huskies making the state’s 4A high school soccer tournament were snuffed out Monday night on the artificial turf at Verdigris.

Claremore Sequoyah — a team that lost to the Lady Huskies, 3-0, on April 5 — secured a berth in Friday’s play-in round of the tourney by recording its fifth straight District 4A-8 victory. The Lady Eagles clipped the host Cardinals, 2-1, to nudge out Pawhuska for third place in the final district standings. It was the only district defeat for Verdigris after seven consecutive 4A-8 wins.

“Verdigris didn’t play like it normally does,” said PHS coach Giovanie Soliano, who attended the match. “They gave up one goal on a penalty kick and the other came from way outside.”

Soliano was pulling for a Lady Cardinal triumph, which would have put Sequoyah in a three-way tie with the Lady Huskies and Miami Lady Wardogs. With that scenario, Pawhuska stood to be winner of the third-place tiebreaker — despite its losing of three close decisions to district champ Verdigris, the runnerup Oologah Lady Mustangs and Miami.

“It’s disappointing, because we had a pretty good season,” Soliano said. “Even after the two home losses (both by one point) and last week’s match at Oologah (a 5-3 setback), we almost made it back to the playoffs.”

In its two previous campaigns under Soliano, the Pawhuska squad reached the quarterfinal round of the 4A tournament in 2014 and dropped a play-in match last year. PHS won a play-in match during its initial competitive season of 2012, before narrowly missing the postseason in 2013.

The Lady Huskies will be graduating a stalwart group of seniors that includes Keylee Kirk, Karissa Hughes, Sarah Phillippi, Genie Herren, Danae Laird, Stephanie Clifton, Bailey Sutherland and Hannah Horn. For the second year in a row, the soccer team is providing a PHS valedictorian and salutatorian. (Respective honorees for the Class of 2016 are Karissa Hughes and Stephanie Clifton. Last year’s valedictorian was Andie Sweeden and Ashley Youngwolfe was a co-salutatorian.)

Pawhuska’s playoff chances were hurt by a March 29 home loss, 2-1, to Miami. Damages compounded two weeks later when Verdigris escaped Ormand Beach Stadium with a 2-1 shootout triumph. Due largely to Claremore Sequoyah wins over Oologah and Miami, Lady Huskie postseason prospects improved greatly prior to last week’s loss at Oologah.

The PHS-Oologah match had been moved up a week from its original April 25 date so it would not conflict with a conference track meet, in which at least 10 Lady Huskies were to compete. Monday’s crucial showdown between Sequoyah and Verdigris was played 24 hours earlier than scheduled in response to weather forecasts calling for Tuesday rain storms.

DISTRICT 4A-8

Soccer Standings (Girls)

SCHOOL: DistW-L … O-all (TB pts)

VERDIGRIS: 7-1 … 8-7 (23)

OOLOGAH: 6-2…10-5 (13)

SEQUOYAH: 6-2…7-6 (13)

PAWHUSKA: 5-3…7-4 (12)

MIAMI: 5-3 … 8-5 (5)

GROVE: 3-4 … 4-6 (2)

COMMERCE: 2-6…3-11 (-21)

RIVERFIELD: 1-5…1-5 (-14)

WEBSTER: 0-8…0-11 (-29)

Monday, April 24

Sequoyah 2, Verdigris 1

Friday, April 22

Oologah 2, Grove 0

Miami 10, Riverfield 0

Thursday, April 21

Commerce 2, Webster 0

Wednesday, April 19

Verdigris 7, Miami 0

Tuesday, April 18

Sequoyah 4, Commerce 0

Oologah 9, Webster 0

Monday, April 17

Oologah 5, Pawhuska 3