Both the USAO men’s and women’s soccer teams opened their regular seasons. The women played at Tahlequah on Friday, while the men opened at home.
Women's Soccer Team Opens Season in Tahlequah
TAHLEQUAH -- The USAO women's soccer team came up just short in their season opener against Northeastern in Tahlequah Friday afternoon after losing 3-4.
"This was a tough loss on the road for a season opener, but our girls will learn from it and, as coaches, we can see where the team needs to improve," said Alexis Vizarelis, assistant coach.
After being down 2-0 at the half, the Drovers fought their way back into the game tying it up 2-2 in the second half after a goal in the 56th minute by Brittany Jay of Tulsa. USAO's next goal also came in the 56th minute by way of an “own goal.”
The Drover’s fell behind 2-3 later in the second half, but once again came up with a goal that tied the score up at 3-3. Calli Cooper of Norman made the goal in the 82nd minute.
USAO fought back hard and forced the game into overtime, but ended up losing in by a score of 3-4. Kasey Garner of Mannford had two saves in the goal.
"This game was a tough game to loss, but the girls continued to fight back and never gave up. It was a good opportunity for us to learn how we can improve as a team," Vizarelis said.
The women are on the road Sept. 4 at Mount Marty College and Sept. 5 at Briar Cliff University in Iowa before returning to Chickasha for their home opener against Huston-Tillotson on Sept. 8.
USAO Men's Soccer Team Start the Season Right
CHICKASHA -- As head coach Jimmy Hampton promised, the USAO Drovers opened the soccer season with a win against the Saints of Hillsdale College. Many USAO students and Drover fans came out to support the team during Saturday's game in Chickasha.
At the end of the first half, the Drovers outshot the Saints 21-0. Of the 21 shots the Drovers took in the first half, ten of those turned into goals. USAO kept this same intensity all throughout the game. "This team will not be outworked by anyone,” coach Hampton said about his team before Saturday's matchup.
The Drovers picked up in the second half right where they left off in the first. They outshot the Saints 20-0 in the second -- six of those 20 shots were converted into goals. The final score was 16-0 with the Drovers not allowing the Saints a single shot.
David Ontieno, of Kenya led the way in scoring for USAO with four goals on seven shots. Sam Shaddick of Scotland chipped in with three goals on five shots. Nial Crick of Scotland scored two goals on three shots and had five assists. Jake Cottage came off the bench and added two goals on three shots.
The Drovers head to Sioux City, Iowa Sept. 4-5 for a two game road trip against Mount Marty College of Yankton, South Dakota and Briar Cliff University of Sioux City, Iowa. The Drover’s next home game is scheduled Sept. 8 at 3 p.m. against Huston-Tillotson College.