By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Sometimes when it rains, it pours.
With ominous clouds surrounding the Stillwater Junior High soccer field, the Stillwater High School girls poured it on Santa Fe South in an 8-0 win during the first round of the Stillwater Cup on Friday.
“We were pretty confident it wasn’t going to rain on us,” Stillwater coach John Fields said. “We like playing when it’s wet, but the girls played really well. We started with our varsity players and then we got up 5-0 I started subbing other girls in. We played all of our players tonight and everybody got some good repetitions.”
Kelsey Henneha scored two goals — both coming in the first half — as Stillwater (4-1) exerted two weeks of frustration by taking it to the Saints. Sam Krysiak also added a pair of goals while Kendall Gordon added a goal and an assist.
“We got back into it and practiced really hard this whole week,” Henneha said. “We got back in the groove of things, came out and did our thing and got a win.”
Olivia Staubus got the scoring started, scoring on a header in the game’s opening moments. Henneha then added a second goal later, opening the flood gates less than 10 minutes into the game.
Hannah Grant then added another goal after a scramble in front of the net, giving the Lady Pioneers a 3-0 lead.
“Our coaching staff does a great job of paying attention to where we were deficient the game before,” Fields said. “We tried to address those in the following session and I think obviously we did. We did well on corners. Our goals to shot ratio is still too high. We need to score more and given the number of shots that we took, it should have been 20-0, but they’re shooters.”
Stillwater continued to pepper the Santa Fe net with shots, as Krysiak clanked a pair of shots off the post midway through the first half.
It didn’t take long for one of those shots to find the back of the net as Gordon found a hole in the Lady Saints defense for Stillwater fourth goal. Just minutes later, the Lady Pioneers then added another goal when Natalie Speer scored, putting Stillwater up 5-0 with about 10 minutes to play in the half.
“We worked on shooting and keeping the ball down this week in practice,” Fields said. “We worked on making cleaner, longer passes. We worked on coming back to the ball and we did all those things extremely well tonight. It showed in how fast we went up on them.”
Already up big, the Lady Pioneers didn’t back down from there. Henneha scored her second goal of the game after finding a gap in Santa Fe’s defense and making a run to the ball. Krysiak then capped off the scoring in the first half with a rope into the back of the net, giving the Lady Pioneers a 7-0 lead at the break.
“I made certain runs and we were able to score on a lot of corner kicks,” Henneha said. “We finished our opportunities, so that was good. That was one of the things we worked on this week in practice.”
Even with most of the junior varsity players taking over in the second half, Santa Fe struggled to get much going offensively.
In contrast to the first half, the Lady Pioneers also struggled but they were able to put a few shots on goal.
With about 15 minutes left in the game, Fields then put his starters back on, hoping to end the match early.
Krysiak thought he had her second goal of the game five minutes later, but was whistled for being offside. That didn’t matter as minutes later she made up for the mistake by pounding a shot into the back of the net for the Lady Pioneers’ final goal.
“(Scoring all those goals) felt good,” Henneha said. “It gave us motivation to work harder and work as a team.”
With the win the Lady Pioneers will face Enid in the semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
STILLWATER BOYS 4, CATOOSA 1
The Lady Pioneers may have avoided the rain, but that wasn’t the case for the Stillwater High School boys.
After missing several opportunities early in the game, the Pioneers had to endure nearly a two-hour delay as lightning surrounded the field at Stillwater Junior High School.
“We didn’t really say anything to them during the delay,” Stillwater coach Seth Condley said. “They just hung around the locker room and ate pizza. But it was good for us because it got our energy level back up.”
That delay seemed to be a blessing in disguise for the Pioneers (2-3). Aided by sloppy field conditions, it took the Pioneers less than two minutes after the break to get their first goal from Sam Smith — who, celebrated by sliding across field in the muddy slop that covered the field.
“It was my first time to penguin and it felt great,” Smith said. “The water was refreshing, but it kind of soaked me.
“You couldn’t really pass the ball much because it would get stuck. This was just a difficult game, but it was probably the most fun I’ve had in a game this season.”
Smith’s goal ignited a spark in the Pioneers’ offense — something that had been lacking in Stillwater’s loss to Moore two weeks ago — as two minutes later Matheus Barbosa weaved his way around the defense and picked the ball out of the mud for Stillwater’s second goal.
“It was good to see that our guys fought through the adversity,” Condley said. “It was just a crazy night, with the field and the weather. It’s certainly going to be a night these players won’t forget in a long time.”
Nathan Herrmann continued to add to Stillwater’s total, scoring with about seven minutes left in the first half as the Pioneers took a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Smith then tacked on a second goal as the 30-minute second half started, putting back Barbosa’s shot to put Stillwater up 4-0.
“I could see that Barbosa was ready to take the shot and I knew with the water it could go anywhere when it hit that field,” Smith said. “The mud and the water can make it stick. It got right through the keeper and I was able to follow it up.”
Catoosa made one last effort, scoring on what looked like a knuckleball just inside the box, but it wasn’t enough as Stillwater advanced to the 2 p.m. semifinal game against Heritage, Ark., Saturday at the Cowgirl Soccer Complex.
“We’ll be really excited,” Smith said. “It’s going to be a huge game tomorrow — a game to get to the championship for the second year in a row.”