MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 6, 2014

Hilldale girls see season end at Glenpool

By Nick Hampton
Phoenix Correspondent

— GLENPOOL – Hilldale coach Brent Breckon has talked all season about the importance of the first five minutes of each half.

And never was that more evident than Monday night as the Lady Warriors of Glenpool scored in the first five minutes of each half en route to a 6-1 victory over the Lady Hornets in the opening round of the Class 4A soccer playoffs, bringing to an end Hilldale’s most successful season ever in its short three-year history.

But it’s what didn’t happen for Hilldale in that first few minutes that may have been the game changer. Leah Gragg punched a through pass to a breaking Gracie Farley who had the angle on the goal keeper. But her shot bounced off the near post and Glenpool cleared it out. Less than a minute later, the Lady Warriors' Megan Musick broke through the Hilldale defense and scored the first of her two goals.

“I think that was maybe the key to the game,” said Breckon. “For me it was a big  letdown and I think the girls had a letdown too. And then a couple of minutes later they kick in a long one and it’s 2-0 and that just sort of crushed us right there.

“I told the girls before the game we couldn’t make any mistakes against a team this good, and we made some mistakes tonight on defense.”

Leading 4-0 at the break, second-ranked Glenpool (12-2) scored in the first five minutes of the second half to make it 5-0, matching the final difference of the contest. Hilldale’s lone goal came on a nice shot from 25 yards out by Gragg that curled into the upper left corner of the net with 17:15 to play.

The senior midfielder, who’s played a key part in Hilldale’s growth and success as a team, had some sound advice for those who will build on this season.

“I would tell them to always work hard regardless of your past. Your future is what matters,” said Gragg.

After Glenpool coach Jason Nussbaum complimented Breckon on Hilldale’s play and indicated it had been the best game of the season for his Lady Warriors, Breckon reflected on the season for the Lady Hornets.

“I’m proud of the girls. Our only district loss was to Fort Gibson, who made the state finals last year,” said Breckon. “We finished 11-4, our most wins ever, and made the playoffs for the first time.

“We lose six seniors including Leah who had a great season and Nicole (Wright) in goal. She had a tough time tonight but I’ve seen her improve her goals-against stats every year of the program.”

Hilldale returns a nucleus of experience for next year in Farley, midfielder Sydney Lomax, and defenders Alexis Gutierrez, Holly Hambrick and Mikela White.