May 6, 2013

Chickasha state tournament run ends with loss at Deer Creek

The Express-Star

EDMOND, Okla. — The Chickasha High School girls soccer team ended its season in the second round of the state playoffs, losing at Deer Creek High School to the Lady Antlers on Friday evening.

The Lady Chicks lost to Deer Creek 8-2, playing without starting goalkeeper Casey Black and with a group of players that has been battling and playing through various injuries all season.

With the loss, Chickasha finishes the season at 11-3-1.

Deer Creek came out firing, jumping out to a 5-0 lead within the first 20 minutes of play, and led 7-0 at halftime.

The Lady Antlers pulled their starters after halftime, but still scored the first goal of the half to go up 8-0.

Taylor Lessig got Chickasha on the scoreboard for the first time at the 24:15 mark with a goal, and with 4:35 left in the game senior Kelsey Taylor scored the last goal of the game, and of her high school career.

Taylor is going on to play at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond.

Deer Creek is ranked as the No. 2 team in class 5A, and has now scored 18 goals in the first two rounds of the tournament after also beating Lawton MacArthur 10-0 in round one.

The Lady Antlers will go on to play Thomas Edison in the state seminals, while Booker T. Washington will play at Carl Albert in the other semifinal.

Deer Creek beat Carl Albert 1-0 in last year's state championship game.

The Lady Chicks' season started out rough, with a penalty kick loss to the Carl Albert Lady Titans in the first game of the regular season.

After that game, however, Chickasha ran off on a six-game winning streak, only allowing two goals during that stretch.

The Lady Chicks also won the Chickasha Invitational Tournament for the second year in a row.

The Noble Lady Bears, who also lost in the state semifinals this season, gave Chickasha a wake-up call in early April, beating the Chicks 4-0 in Noble.

Chickasha learned its lesson, winning four out of five games in district play to close out the regular season and finish second in 5A-1.

Chickasha hosted the first round of the playoffs, beating Heritage Hall 2-1, before losing to Deer Creek.

Senior forward/midfielder Hannah Elrod led the team in goals, even while playing midfielder for the last few games of the year. She had 20 goals and four assists.

The Lady Chicks had four all-district selections this season.

"Without the team, there would be no individual success," head coach Bethany Goble said. "These awards wouldn't be available if it wasn't for everyone else on the field."

Casey Black, Ashley Owens, Marleana Morrow and Kayla Branch received all-district honors, awarded at Monday night's banquet.

Taylor was the team's second-leading scorer with 12 goals, and she had five assists.

Taylor missed one game with a broken nose suffered during the Chickasha Invitational, and played the rest of the season with a protective face mask, a symbol of a team that was playing through pain all season.

Goalkeeper Black missed the last game and a half because of symptoms from a concussion, and Goble said all year her players were toughing it out through other nagging injuries.

Chickasha's assist leader this season was Alyssa Willetts with six.

Tara Arnold scored five goals and had four assists, and Lessig scored four goals.

Other Chickasha players who scored one goal this season include Lucia Avila, Amanda Black, Haley Black, Nia Chase, Caitlyn Lee and Willetts.

Casey Black played in 13 games and had 43 saves this season.

Graduating this season from Chickasha's team are Taylor, Elrod, who will be playing soccer at Southwestern Oklahoma State University next season, Casey Black and Myka