Pawhuska’s Lady Huskies debuted in the No. 12 spot of the 2014 Class 4A soccer rankings released Monday by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association.
So far this season, the Pawhuska High School girls’ squad has won both its matches under first-year Head Coach Giovanie Soliano. But, the new head coach knows tough challenges are just around the corner, with key district showdowns looming next Tuesday at Oologah and the following week versus Verdigris.
“Those are the teams we need to beat to get home field advantage in the playoffs,” Soliano said.
On Tuesday, March 11, three evenings after Daylight Savings Time’s latest dawn, the Lady Huskies sprang forward past Victory Christian, 3-0, in the first half of their match at Ormand Beach Stadium. The second session found the visiting Lady Conquerors falling back as the Pawhuskans pressed on to score seven more unanswered goals before the contest was mercifully stopped with 49.7 seconds remaining on the clock.
PHS junior Macy Hurd bumped in the match-ending point after sophomore Hannah Horn moved the ball into scoring position. Also contributing to the tenth-goal effort was senior Carlie Culver and sophomore Keylee Kirk. Culver led the way to the win with two goals and two assists.
Sophomores Sarah Phillippi and Genie Herren also scored twice apiece for the Lady Huskies. Kirk, Hurd and senior Morgan Waddle all supplied one goal and one assist. The other Pawhuska goal came from sophomore Karissa Hughes and senior Andie Sweeden was credited with an assist. Recording her first shutout in the PHS goal was freshman Jenna Shulanberger.
With the triumph, the Lady Huskies improved to 2-0 on the year. Pawhuska’s girls opened the 2014 campaign at home March 6 by topping the Mannford Lady Pirates, 3-1. A 30-minute earlier start and the switch to Summer Time allowed for the latest PHS match to be completed before dark.
There also was a strong wind from the south that increased game-time temperatures — as well as (probably) the second-half scoring power of the Lady Huskies. The loss evened the Lady Conquerors’ record at 1-1, as Victory Christian won its season opener (by a score of 3-0) versus Tulsa Webster.
Following this week’s spring break, Pawhuska will jump into its District 4A-5 schedule Tuesday, March 25, with a 5:30 p.m. road match against the Oologah-Talala Lady Mustangs. Last season on the Oologah turf, the Lady Huskies edged the home squad, 1-0, on a late goal by Hughes. The Lady Mustangs are currently 3-2 with wins at Collinsville (2-1 in overtime), Bristow and Rejoice Christian. The last two victories came during Thursday’s Mustang Showcase.) Oologah has been shut out in defeats to Sequoyah Claremore and Glenpool.
PHS is to play on the road versus non-district foe Bristow on Friday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. and then face the district favorite (and four-time defending Class 4A champion) Verdigris Lady Cardinals on Tuesday, April 1, in a 5:30 p.m. road match.