Pawhuska High School freshman goalkeeper Jenna Shulanberger blocked her third shot in overtime Thursday night to seal a Lady Huskie soccer victory over the Ponca City Lady Wildcats jayvee squad.
Shootout goals by sophomore Sarah Phillippi and senior Kaytlyn Swan gave the PHS girls a 2-1 lead in the extended session before Shulanberger made her match-winning save against the fifth and final shootist for the visiting Wildcats.
The triumph was the second of the week for the Lady Huskies, who defeated NOAH by a score of 9-1 on Tuesday.
Through 80 minutes of regulation play against Ponca City, the Huskies and Wildcats had battled to a scoreless draw. The goal by Phillippi on the opening possession of the five-round shootout put the Lady Huskies up by one.
After the next two Lady Huskie shooters failed to convert, the Poncans tied the score at 1-1. Swan then booted in what proved to be the game winner before Shulanberger turned away the last of the Lady Wildcats’ five OT shots.
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Pawhuska’s girls hold a 6-1 record and have re-established themselves in the No. 13 spot in with the Oklahoma Class 4A rankings. The Lady Huskies are scheduled for match Thursday at Commerce — the first of three cricial District 4A-5 showdowns remaining on the home team’s schedule.
First-year coach Giovanie Soliano will take the Lady Huskies back on the road the following Thursday (April 24) for a district test against the Lady Ropers of Tulsa Rogers. The next night (Friday, April 25), PHS will wrap up its regular-season campaign at home versus the another district foe, the Miami Lady Wardogs.
The battle with Miami at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium is likely to carry playoff implications for both the Huskies and the Wardogs.
Latest standings for District 4A-5 are topped by defending state champion Verdigris, which is the only team to have conquered Pawhuska thus far. After being dropped to No. 3 in last week’s 4A poll, the Lady Cardinals were returned to No. 1 in the rankings released Monday. VHS is currently 2-0 in district play and 7-3 overall.
The Lady Tigers of Commerce will be going into the Thursday match with Pawhuska with a lone triumph in nine season matches. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The Lady Tigers scored their only goal of the year in their 1-0 win against the Bristow Lady Pirates — a team the Lady Huskies defeated 9-1.
Although the Commerce girls have been outscored by opponents, 31-1, three of their losses have been in 1-0 matches — to Rejoice Christian and Rogers (Ark.) Heritage as well as to Pawhuska’s upcoming district foe, Miami.
Miami, which is 5-4 overall, and Verdigris both currently have 2-0 district records and are tied for first place in 4A-5. The Oologah Lady Mustangs (over whom the Lady Huskies hold an in-district victory) are 2-2 in 4A-5 games and 7-5 overall. Rogers is 2-4 in all season contests and 1-1 in the district. Miami collected its district wins versus Commerce (1-0) and Oologah (3-2).
Last Thursday’s shootout win against Ponca City marked the third shutout this year for Shulanberger, a diminutive ninth-grader who was subsequently carried off the field by her PHS teammates.
“Jenna has been getting better week by week,” the coach of the Lady Huskies said. “This really was an excellent match for her.”
The Lady Wildcats challenged Shulanberger throughout the night, but she made four saves in the opening half and seven in the second. Unconverted first-period shooting opportunities plagued the Lady Huskies, who missed 15 shots before intermission and five more in the second half.
“We couldn’t pull the trigger early when we had the chances,” Soliano said. “That nearly came back to haunt us.”
Pawhuska’s offense had been relentless in Tuesday’s match versus the NOAH home-schoolers. Junior forward Andie Sweeden scored four goals for the Lady Huskie squad, which also got two goals apiece from sophomores Genie Herren and Sarah Phillippi. Macy Hurd, a junior who is more noted for her outstanding defense, tallied the other point for PHS.
Assists for the Huskies were provided by freshman MacKenzie Fortney, senior Morgan Waddle and Sweeden. Five time during the NOAH contest, Pawhuska was called for offsides violations. Despite those lost attacks, PHS registered 18 shots on goal — more than twice as many as the visiting team.
The Lady Huskies moved out to a 4-0 advantage in the first period. Herren got the home offense started seven minutes into the match and wrapped up the half’s scoring with her second goal 15 minutes before the break. Sweeden booted in her initial goal 15 minutes after kickoff and Phillippi chipped in her first point three minutes later.
After Hurd connected in the first minute of the second half, Sweeden prolifically produced the next three PHS points. Sweeden got her second goal of the evening eight minutes into the period and scored later with nine minutes and six minutes left in the match. Phillippi capped the Lady Huskie output with four minutes remaining, and approximately three minutes after NOAH got its lone goal of the match off the foot of Pawhuskan Alex Drummond.