April 24, 2013

Chickasha girls soccer closes regular season with win at Altus

The Express-Star

— The Chickasha High School girls soccer team earned the right to host the first round of the state playoffs with a win over Altus on Tuesday night.

The Lady Chicks beat Altus 7-1 on the road, and ended the season 10-2-1 and 5-2 in district play. That record is good for second place in the district, thanks to a goal differential tie-breaker.

Senior Hannah Elrod scored four goals and had two assists against the Lady Bulldogs. Kelsey Taylor scored two goals, and Amanda Black had one goal. Taylor Lessig and Ashley Owen each had one assist.

Chickasha will most likely play Heritage Hall at home in the first round of the playoffs, after ending the season with three straight road games.

Head coach Bethany Goble said the string of road games will only help her team in the postseason.

"I actually think it's going to be a strength for us, because playing on the road in a different environment with different fans is a tough requirement and I think it will help us when it comes to the playoffs," Goble said.

The playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 30, giving the team a week of rest and preparation, which Goble said will help some of the players who have gotten banged-up throughout the season.

"With soccer comes soreness and injuries, so there are going to be a few that will be resting the next few days, but nothing that we're not used to handling," Goble said. "So many of them have been playing throughout the season hurt, and that just shows how much they love it and how much passion they have to fight through it."

Chickasha won four out of its last five games to end the regular season, with the one loss being a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Durant on April 16.

Goble said she believes her team is playing as well as it needs to in order to have a chance in the playoffs, and that the preparation will be more about playing to strengths than worrying about the opponent.

"I tell my girls every year, every day, it doesn't matter who we're playing, just play our game," Goble said. "That's all we can ask, that's all we can do. There are obviously things we have to work on, but what we instill in our kids is to focus on the strengths and work off that."