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March 7, 2014

Lady Pioneers lose sudden death shootout in season opener

STILLWATER, Okla. — The season opener in Stillwater did not go as planned. Stillwater hosted Bartlesville to begin the 2014 campaign. The difference was one kick of the ball.

With a tie after 80 minutes of play the game went into penalty kicks. The two tightly matched up teams needed seven penalty kicks a piece to determine the winner. Bartlesville came out on top winning the regular season matchup 1-1 (6-5).

“I’m proud of the way that the girls played,” Stillwater coach Joey Parker said. “All of those girls played 110 percent for me. I know every player on this team does their best. That’s what we did (Friday), unfortunately we didn’t come out on top.”

The Lady Pioneers were outshot 9-7. Bartlesville had seven in the second half.

Stillwater’s sophomore goalkeeper Alona Williams allowed just one goal to creep in. Williams had a shining moment during the shootout when she laid out to her right to stop Bartlesville’s first shot.

“This is her first year of ever playing goalie and this is her first shootout she’s ever been in. I’ve been impressed with her,” Parker said. “I think she did a great job.”

Stillwater’s Hannah Grant a junior forward, found herself with the ball inside the box with just the Bartlesville goalkeeper to beat. Grant hit the breakaway shot into the net for a 1-0 Lady Pioneer lead with 23:15 remaining in the first half. Grant had just come back from suffering a broken hand in the preseason.

“We’re glad to have (Grant) back. Hannah will do whatever it takes to get a win,” Parker said.

Bartlesville would not go away as it was able to score with 6:59 to take a 1-1 tie into halftime.

Stillwater outshot Bartlesville 5-2 in the first half but the Lady Bruins were more efficient with scoring on 50 percent of their shots. Bartlesville had four saves in the first 40 minutes of action.

Stillwater will remain at home when it hosts Bishop McGuinness at 6 p.m. Tuesday. With the opener out of the way the Lady Pioneers now know what they need to work on.

“We need to work on a little bit more composure from the start of the game and come out a little bit more aggressive. You learn from every game and move on,” Parker said.

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