With the No. 1 Lawton MacArthur Highlanders' boys soccer team coming into Hampton Field on Friday night, the Chickasha High School boys soccer team knew it was in for a challenge. That’s exactly what it got, losing a tough game at home.
The Fightin’ Chicks lost the game 3-0, their first loss since the end of March and also their first loss in district play. Chickasha is now 6-4, and 4-1 in the district.
“They’re good,” head coach Steve Scott said. “I knew how they were going to be coming.”
The Highlanders’ counterattack caused Chickasha problems the entire game. MacArthur consistently turned the ball up the field with blazing speed, and the Chicks weren’t always getting back to set up their defensive shape, said Scott.
“Get back first, and you’re going to kill that counterattack,” Scott said. “We didn’t get back first, and they countered us all day, and we didn’t have time to set up.
“The goals they scored, they never really ran a play. Set pieces, penalty kicks, and a fluke cross that the guy shanked off his foot and Jeral had to react to…they did their job.”
MacArthur, now 11-1 this season, fielded a very fast and athletic team, but Scott said it wasn’t an athletic or skill advantage that was the difference in the game, but how they executed on the field.
While the Highlanders may have looked like they had the faster players, Scott said the fact that they moved the ball so much better than the Chicks is what accounted for that.
“The speed of the game isn’t actually the physical speed, it’s the movement of the ball,” Scott said. “The fact that they were moving the ball quick. If a team moves the ball quick, there isn’t a team on any level that can catch up with them.”
On the other side, Chickasha’s offense was bogged down by too much individual ball handling, with players stepping outside their roles and not staying within the system and setting up the team’s primary play makers.
“We’ve been telling them all the time: don’t dribble,” Scott said. “Make the pass. Somebody’s open, give them the ball and make the run.
“The guys who are in the middle of the field are there because they’re the ones that run the show,” Scott said. “They’re the ones that can make the passes and set guys up, so everyone was trying to play out of their role in different areas.”
Scott said his team had a little trouble adjusting to the speed with which Lawton MacArthur attacked at the beginning of the game, and that contributed to the Chicks being out of sorts at times.
Chickasha played a make-up game at Western Heights on Monday, and ends the regular season today at home against Altus at 7:30 p.m.