In what was a preview of Friday’s district opener at Pioneer Stadium, the Stillwater High and Enid boys’ soccer teams battled late into Saturday night, eventually needing a penalty kick shootout to decide the victor.
Both squads battled in a physical, emotional and drama-filled contest to see who was leaving with the Stillwater Cup championship. All the while, knowing they will face off again in six days when the stakes ramp up for Class 6A district action.
The regulation portion of the game ended scoreless, despite several close calls by both teams. Tournament rules forced an immediate penalty kick shootout – Stillwater’s second of the week after beating Norman in PKs on Tuesday – but the standard five kickers weren’t enough.
Instead, each team ran out seven players to attempt PKs. The last shot sailed over the goal and Stillwater celebrated winning its home tournament for the first time in three years.
Stillwater and Enid will play again at 8 p.m. Friday in each other district’s opener. The girls’ game will start at 6 p.m.
The PK shootout began with Stillwater junior Luke Prentice’s shot being blocked by the Enid goalkeeper. It fired up the Plainsmen and their crowd.
Enid responded with making its first PK. Stillwater’s Chase Edwards and Christopher O’Neil made theirs, as well, while Enid made its next two shots, taking a 3-2 lead.
In the fourth round, Stillwater’s Blake Henderson connected on his shot to tie the score. Enid’s Brandon Garcia followed with his shot being stopped by Stillwater goalkeeper Kade Stevens. Stillwater’s Griffin Condley stepped up and made his shot to give the Pioneers a one-shot lead.
Enid also made its fifth shot, forcing sudden death in the PK shootout. SHS senior Ethan Hicks and
Enid’s Brandon Martinez drilled their shots.
In round seven, Stillwater’s Uriah Kirby put his kick in the back of the net. Seconds later, Enid’s Francisco Marrufo kicked his shot over the net.
Once the final shot went over the net, the Pioneers rushed the field toward Stevens. They all celebrated together after winning the PK shootout, 6-5.
On Saturday morning, Stillwater beat Ponca City, 3-0, in the tournament semifinals. The Pioneers led 1-0 at halftime after a goal by O’Neil. It was a PK with 2:02 remaining in the half.
Less than nine minutes into the second half, Kirby drilled a shot from 15-20 yards on the right side of the goal. Kirby’s shot went into the upper right corner to give his team a 2-0 lead.
Stillwater’s Cody Moore scored the final goal with 13:32 left in the game. Stillwater will play at Ponca City on April 5 for its second district game of the season.
A full story with quotes SHS coach Seth Condley and players will be in Tuesday's print edition of the News Press.