CHICKASHA — A tense, hard-fought game was made even more so by a controversial outing for the match officials as Chickasha fell 2-1 to Weatherford in the first round of state playoffs.
A strange yet decisive goal from Oakley Winters sealed the deal for the Lady Eagles, and they, along with Chickasha, should not have anything taken away from the overall performance. Unfortunately, eyes were turned to the match officials when it was all said and done, not least for a questionable red card handed out to Lady Chicks senior and goal scorer Alyssa Willetts.
It seemed a cruel way to end Chickasha’s season, one in which they earned a bye into this first round game by winning all of their district outings.
The Lady Eagles withstood a 15 minute barrage to open the game, with over the top balls to Tara Arnold and Shorty Clift proving a bit troublesome for their back line. Willetts put Clift through clean on goal for the best chance of the opening minutes, only for the shot to cannon off of goalkeeper Brooklyn Bell and away.
It was as if Weatherford were simply spring loaded as they were pinned back, and they broke with vengeance. Madison Snyder was called into action when the ball broke to forward Winters in space. Her curling effort toward the top left corner was palmed over for a corner by Snyder, and the Lady Chicks defense cleared.
Whereas in past encounters Clift’s pace proved a real problem for defenses, she met her match in the first half with center back Zoie DeFehr. The freshman matched her step-for-step, showing great anticipation and positioning to keep a lid on Clift and leave Chickasha frustrated.
Weatherford made their chances count on 17 minutes. Down the left side, the ball broke to Alexa Harvey who shot at the first sight on goal. Snyder got a piece of it, but it wasn’t enough as the ball squirmed past her and inched over the line. It seemed to take the wind out of Chickasha. For most of the half, they had the wind at their backs, and advantage, it seemed, they could ill-afford to squander.