By Andrew Glover
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Stillwater Pioneers ended their season last year with two penalty kick defeats. Tuesday at Pioneer Stadium, the Pioneers got the monkey off their back as Tr’e Diaz scored the game winner and goalie Jackson Murphy stopped two shots in a 1-0 victory over No. 15 Bishop McGuinness.
“It’s a game we should have won before penalty kicks,” coach Seth Condley said. “It was good for us to be in a penalty kick game early in the year and for us to come out with a win. When we get to district we could have games come down to that.”
Bryson Reed converted the first kick for Stillwater but McGuinness responded with a goal. Abel Adame’s shot was stopped and the Irish scored to take a 2-1 advantage. Senior Nathan Herrmann tied the score but McGuinness retook the lead. Daniel Mutai’s first attempt was stopped but the goalie left early. On the second opportunity Mutai cashed it in. Murphy made his first save of the shootout, to give the Pioneers a chance to take the lead. Diaz powered the ball past the Irish goalie to put Stillwater on top.
“It was amazing,” Diaz said. “I was glad it went in. That’s a pretty good team we beat.”
Murphy made the biggest save of the night to seal the win for the Pioneers. The senior goaltender said it was pretty exciting.
“It was my first penalty kill shootout victory,” Murphy said.
Condley said Murphy stepped up but added he didn’t face many shots in regulation.
“He had one big save in the first half,” Condley said. “I think made two or three saves for the game. He wasn’t really tested. The wind wrecked havoc on our shots and possessions. The game was played more in the midfield.”
The Pioneers (1-1) hit the road Friday and play at Yukon. Murphy said he thinks they have a good chance.
“If we play like we did tonight, we should have a good chance of winning,” Murphy said.
The No. 14 Bishop McGuinness Lady Irish proved to be the more physical team in a 7-0 rout over the Stillwater Lady Pioneers.
“They were definitely the more aggressive team tonight,” Stillwater coach Joey Parker said.
Bishop McGuinness broke the scoreless tie about 16 minutes into the first half. Ryan Maroney faked out Stillwater goalie Alona Williams and shot into an empty net. Less than 10 minutes later, Erin Eckhart powered one past Williams for a 2-0 lead. With 17 seconds left in the first half Rachel Jordan scored from 10 yards out.
The Lady Pioneers (0-2) had a couple of chances in the first half but played most of the game in their own third.
“We didn’t play our best,” Parker said. “It showed on the scoreboard.”
In the second half, the Lady Irish continued where they left off. Quincy Plank scored less than four minutes into the second half. Eckhart scored her second goal with 25:54 left in the half off the top cross bar. Lauren Olay added to the Lady Irish lead with two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game.
The Lady Pioneers visit Yukon at 6 p.m. Friday. Parker said he hopes to see a better effort.
“They are going to be just as tough as (McGuinness),” Parker said. “Hopefully we can come out and play a little better.”