March 11, 2014

CHS girls fire six past Shawnee; boys lose by one

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Chickasha girls

The Chickasha girls started their season off with a bang in a 6-0 thrashing of Shawnee at home.

Taylor Lessig started and finished the rout, while Chickasha’s dominance was shown more by the fact that the Lady Wolves did not register a single shot in the entire game. On the other hand, the Lady Chicks had no less than 23 and 13 of those were on target.

Things looked to be getting out of hand after just eight minutes. Chickasha found themselves up 2-0 courtesy of goalmouth scrambles, the first poked home by Lessig after Tara Arnold’s low cross from the left in just the fourth minute.

The next also originated off the foot of Arnold, this time from a corner on the left. The goalkeeper had trouble handling the out-swinging ball, and it fell to Natasha Grant whose right footed swipe sent the ball looping into the left side of the net.

Wind undoubtedly led to the high amount of goal chances for Chickasha, who had it at their backs in the first half. Shawnee struggled to clear their lines on a number of occasions, meaning a once halted attack could be turned right around and back at them.

With a quarter hour to go in the first half, there was a goal to truly savor. Alyssa Willets cut through the middle of the park, first heading left before shifting back to her right foot and unleashing a powerful strike from the top of the area. A wicked deflection sent the ball back to the left, where it rolled in past a wrong-footed goalkeeper.

An own goal on the stroke of halftime made it four for Chickasha, as they were in cruise control. Shawnee couldn’t find their passing rhythm, and by midway through the second half they looked gassed.

It was time enough for Chickasha to pounce twice more. First Tara Arnold, played in down the left, put in her first of the season after the ball was initially saved. She put the rebound away first time in the near corner.

Lessig then got her second when she sped down the right flank in behind the defense and struck a low, hard shot to the far corner. The keeper couldn’t get enough of it as the ball hit the inside corner and the rout was truly on.

After a 1-1 drawn between these two in preseason, Chickasha will be buoyed by such a one-sided result, even if Shawnee were missing some of their players.

Chickasha boys

Shawnee ran out 3-2 winners against Chickasha on Monday, sealing the win with two second-half goals.

Alec Young and Chris McKee struck with under 10 minutes left to give Shawnee the advantage. Bryar West had opened the scoring for the visitors in the first half, but that was canceled out by Cooper Moseley’s looping free kick that drew Chickasha level.

A late strike by Chance Mata made for a frantic final minutes, but Shawnee held onto the win. It was Chickasha’s season opener after the two teams’ game last week was called off due to weather.

After Chickasha opened with the better run of play, it was the Wolves who struck first. A free kick from the right was bobbled around before the Fightin’ Chicks could only manage a clearance to the edge of the area. That’s where West picked up the ball and sent a thunderous strike sailing toward the top corner. A deflection saw it sail in past Chickasha goalkeeper Riley Williams.

Despite not getting on the score sheet, Chickasha’s Devin Warden was very active throughout the game, forcing the Shawnee defense into a scramble on multiple occasions. After a period of Shawnee dominance after the goal, it was his trips forward that brought the Chicks back into it. He stole the ball off Shawnee’s Kade Dixson only for the central defender to slide in and get it away just before Warden got to goal.

He then beat West to a ball passed down the left side to go in one-on-one. Warden’s right footed shot sailed frustratingly high and wide.

The equalizer came with just under six minutes to go in the half. Cooper Mosely lined up a free kick on the right. His cross in ventured too close to the goal, and Shawnee keeper Bronson Wise could do nothing but watch as it curled inwards and just under the bar at the far post. Warden had a chance to make it 2-1 before the break off a corner, but his header from point blank range was well saved by Wise on the goal line.

In the second half, Chickasha switched to a more attacking formation with three strikers up top, and it almost paid off immediately. Hayden Johnson ran onto a pass down the left side before cutting back in and past three converging defenders. With just the keeper to beat, he got to the ball first only to watch his shot sail inches wide to the left.

With the more open field after the switch of tactics, Shawnee struck quickly. Young pounced for the Wolves’ second with 10 minutes left when a Chickasha goal kick failed to make it out of the defensive third of the field. Williams was left stranded with Young clean through and the striker finished powerfully.

A free kick deep in Shawnee’s half led to their second in six minutes. Austin McKay ran onto the long ball down the left and sent a pass across the face of goal where McKee bundled it home.

Another long-ball created the Chicks’ consolation late on. Wise failed to collect the lob into the box and the ball rolled out to Mata who finished low and hard first time into the left corner with about three minutes left.