Phoenix Sports Writer
POTEAU – Unfortunately for Fort Gibson, It didn’t have to go to the fifth shooter.
The Tigers’ Johan Chavez and Levi Ford missed decisive shots in the shootout and the Tigers came up short in falling 3-2 to the Poteau Pirates in the District 4A-6 opener for both teams at Poteau on Thursday night.
Poteau made four shots in the shootout and Fort Gibson found the net twice.
When Ford missed his attempt in the shootout, the Tigers’ chances for a possible tie were lost in this game between the state’s top two ranked boys teams. Had Ford made the shot, Fort Gibson had a chance to tie the game if Poteau had missed on its fifth attempt in the shootout.
“We should’ve won this game,” Chavez said. “I feel really terrible right now. But I’m taking this game as a lesson. I know we’re going to see them again and I’ll finish the next time.”
The loss is the first this season in five games for the Tigers, No. 1 in the Okrankings.com poll. No. 2 Poteau improved to 7-1.
Fort Gibson coach Todd Friend consoled his team after the game.
“Shootouts can go either way,” he said. “Anybody who loves soccer would like to be in a game like this. It was a great game. But there’s no way our season is over. “
Both teams were deadlocked at 2-2 after the first and second 10-minute overtimes.
Austin Ford’s shot with 4:41 left in regulation tied the game for the Tigers. He earlier had missed a shot that went over the top of the net.
“I told our guys it took desire and dedication to get the tie,” Friend said.
Poteau took a 2-1 lead with 7:16 left in regulation on Ashby Clark’s second goal of the game.
The teams were tied 1-1 at halftime.
Fort Gibson scored first when Chavez’s shot went to the left side of the net with 34:07 left.
Poteau matched the goal with 30:52 remaining on Clark’s shot.
Fort Gibson 4,
When Jordan Raynor’s first two attempts hit the crossbar, the sophomore forward became a little concerned.
“I was wondering if I was going to score at all,” she said.
Raynor’s fears were soon put to rest as she scored twice in a four-minute span of the first half to lead the Lady Tigers (4-1) to the 4A-6 opening win against the Lady Pirates (1-4). She scored with 9:04 left in the half and then again with 5:08 remaining.
“That first goal got me going,” said Raynor, who finished with six shots on goal. “The second one really picked me up.”
Raynor finished with six shots on goal, including four in the first half. Fort Gibson coach Jaime Snyder praised her player’s speed.
“She’s so fast, faster than any 4A team we’ll play,” Snyder said. “We also do a good job of getting the ball to her and she just has to finish.”
Junior forward Brooke Benham and senior forward Lillian Bear scored the other Lady Tigers’ goals. Benham, Taylor Sparks and Sara Nichols each had three shots on goal in the game.
The Lady Tigers dominated the second half with 13 shots on goal. They finished with 20.
Poteau had three shots on goal in the game, all in the first half.