MIDWEST CITY —
The Chickasha High School boys soccer team was unable to avenge an early-season loss to the Carl Albert Titans in the first round of the state playoffs Tuesday night in Midwest City, and the Fightin’ Chicks’ season has come to an end.
Chickasha lost 4-0 to the Titans, ending the season in disappointing fashion with four straight losses and a 6-7 record.
It was an extremely windy night, and the wind played a factor in the game. But, the first goal Chickasha allowed was a self-inflicted case of misfortune, giving up an own-goal score for the Titans very early on.
The second goal came with 9:05 remaining in the first half. A Titan player shot from the left side, and the ball was deflected by goalkeeper Devin Mabry. But another Carl Albert player came in from the backside and scored on the rebound.
Chickasha went into halftime down two goals, but Carl Albert didn’t waste much time scoring early in the second half, when a corner kick went right into the goal with 35:27 to play.
The final goal of the game came with 29:24 left, coming off another corner kick.
Chickasha played against the wind in the second half, but head coach Steve Scott said he thought his team played well in the difficult conditions.
“We got some of our best looks going against the wind,” Scott said.
Scott said he was proud of his team for making the state playoffs for the first time in several years, despite the early exit.
“We’re fortunate to be where we’re at, to be one of 16 teams playing in the playoffs,” Scott said. “Unfortunately we were on the other end and don’t get to play Friday. But with the effort and the way they’ve played all season, it’s been a great season.”
The Fightin’ Chicks’ season took a negative turn when goalkeeper Jeral Willetts broke his arm during a road loss at Western Heights on April 23. Going into that game, Chickasha had won four straight games.
Mabry filled in at goalkeeper in Willetts’ absence, and did an admirable job. However, the loss still hurt the team.
“Losing Jeral how we did, and especially when we did, was unfortunate,” Scott said. “It changes the game a little. But Devin stepped in and did a great job for us.”
Scott said the team grew tougher through the adversity of injuries leading into district play and then into the tournament, and players stepped up when they needed to.
“It put us in a situation where guys stepped up and we learned how to play without some people,” Scott said. “The first few games of district really helped us, and the team continued to grow.
The best part of the season was watching the team grow and develop a strong chemistry, both on and off the field, said Scott.
“With the chemistry that this team had from the beginning, I had the feeling this was going to be a qualifying team for state,” Scott said. “That started way back in the offseason. These guys really got along and stuck together. You could just feel it and see it.
“They fought to the end, and that’s exactly what we expected.”