By Nick Hampton
The chances were few and far between.
A pressing Broken Arrow offense and a lack of any offense for Muskogee spelled the difference Tuesday night in a 3-0 MHS loss in District 6A-3 action on Muskogee’s Senior Night at Indian Bowl.
The Tigers took just eight minutes to open the scoring on the soccer equivalent of a give-and-go goal by Blake Carr. Ten minutes later Ming Lee knocked a shot by goalkeeper Jesus Ruiz after
Ruiz had blocked a shot to make it 2-0. Despite a 12-2 advantage in shots on goal, Broken Arrow was unable to score again and held that 2-0 lead at intermission.
The Roughers got three quick shots on goal in the second half but that would be about it offensively, although they did hold the Tigers pretty well in check. Broken Arrow’s lone goal in the second half came with 33 minutes to play on a blast from 25 yards out by Daniel Guttierez.
Despite the effort, Coach Shawn Riley couldn’t hide his frustration with his team’s offensive shortcomings, much like a basketball team that dribbles itself out of scoring chances.
“On offense we have some players who just want to touch the ball too much. You look at a team like Broken Arrow (4-3, 3-1) that just moves the ball along on quick touches and passes whereas we just touch and touch and touch and it takes us forever to move the ball down the field.”
With one game left in his first season as the Roughers’ head coach, Riley hopes Muskogee is starting to turn the corner.
“Am I happy that we have a more disciplined team (only three yellow cards for the whole season)? Am I happy that the kids are playing better and they’re getting some compliments at school? Sure. I don’t think our level of play is reflected by the scoreboard, but at the end of the day, losing is still frustrating and it hurts.”
Five seniors played their final game at Indian Bowl including four starters, so Muskogee (3-8, 0-6) will return a good nucleus for next season.
BA 8, Muskogee 0
It’s not often a coach can find positives in a blowout loss but MHS coach Curt Denton was upbeat following the thrashing his team took at the feet of the No. 9 team in Class 6A.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this but this is probably the best 8-0 game I’ve been in,” said Denton. “We tried to play them with an off-sides trap, but we just didn’t get some of the calls we had hoped for. We played well as a team tonight and I’ve really got nothing to complain about.”
Muskogee hung with the Lady Tigers for a half thanks in part to some nifty goal keeping by junior Cassidy Drabek. Broken Arrow got two goals by Sierra Bealle and one by Sabina Brantley to make it 3-0 at halftime. Four great saves in the half by Drabek kept the Lady Roughers within shouting distance.
But as Broken Arrow (6-4, 4-0) continued to press the offense, Muskogee just ran out of saves in the second half. The Lady Tigers got their fourth goal on what appeared to be an off-sides situation. That seemed to take the energy out of the Lady Roughers defense as Broken Arrow scored four more goals in the final 30 minutes. For the game Broken Arrow outshot Muskogee 34-2.
“This has been a turnaround year for us,” Denton said. “We had a lot of youngsters out there and these girls are changing the future of Muskogee soccer.”
The Lady Roughers (1-8, 0-6) close out the season on the road Friday at Choctaw.