April 25, 2014

Lady Chicks finish district undefeated, seal state spot

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Seniors made it count on Senior Night as Chickasha enters the postseason undefeated in district after a 2-0 win over Elgin on Friday.

Two second-half goals from seniors Shorty Clift and Alyssa Willetts leave Chickasha 6-0 in 4A District 2, securing them a first round bye right into the state tournament.

Elgin were on their back foot for most of a scoreless first half. They were easily outpaced in midfield, and the Lady Chicks nearly made that count on a number of occasions

Katie Hinch, who looked the most likely to score all half, had the best chance when she hopped onto a loose ball clean through on goal. She rounded Lady Owls goalkeeper Lauren Collins with an effortless shimmy, but the touch was just too much as (#23) raced back to send the ball away from the open goal.

Hinch was part of the action early, picking up a ball at the top of the attacking third before turning to find Tara Arnold free down the left. The speedy winger’s shot to the near post was palmed behind for one of the half dozen or so corners Chickasha had in the first 40 minutes.

It took eight more minutes into the second half for the deadlock to be broken. Arnold took a pass down the left, beating everyone to the end line with pace. Her cross to the back post found Shorty Clift, who threw everything she had to body the ball into the far side for the 1-0 lead.

After that, Elgin turned on the pressure with a breeze just about at their backs. Hannah Taylor’s long range effort from the top of the box rolled to Madison Snyder in goal. A few minutes later, Jentry Holt curled an out-swinging free kick just wide of Snyder’s far post.

But the majority of Lady Owl attacks were gone with the wind. Passes forward went too far too often, despite the hard work of Taylor to hold up as much as possible.

At times Chickasha found it hard to get forward, but another senior made it count when they did. When Hinch moved back to defense late in the game, Haley Black made her way forward to good effect. She held the ball at the top of the box, attracting attention to open the space for Alyssa Willetts who eased in calmly to pick up the ball and dispatch the ball into the low left corner.

That essentially killed the game, and a rough second half. It was clear both were desperate for a win, as Elgin upped their aggression as the second half wore on. The Lady Chicks didn’t look to have aggravated any major injuries ahead of their first round state game, which looks to be scheduled at home a week from Tuesday.