PORTER — After a sluggish start, the No.8-ranked Hilldale Lady Hornets scored four goals in an 18-minute span of the first half and went on to defeat Porter 4-1 in a District 4A-6 encounter Friday at Pirate Stadium.
Porter came out the aggressor to open the game as Kennedy Mathis broke away for a clean shot on goal, and only a great save by Hilldale goal keeper Nicole Wright kept the Lady Pirates from getting on the scoreboard first. In the first 15 minutes of the game, Porter outshot the Lady Hornets 5-2.
“We came out a little flat in the first half and it took us a little while to get going,” said Hornets coach Brent Breckon.
Enter Hilldale senior Leah Gragg. The Northern Oklahoma College signee had a hand in all four of the Lady Hornets’ scores starting at the 25:16 mark with a corner kick. The Porter goalie went up to grab it, the ball got away, and Grace Farley headed it into the net to put the Lady Hornets up 1-0. Just a minute later, Gragg got free on the right wing, dribbled around a defender in the goal box, and moved down the goal line for a one-on-one against the keeper which she netted for a 2-0 Hilldale advantage.
“I saw the keeper had come out to challenge me and I figured if I chipped it, it might go in,” said Gragg.
Another corner kick by Gragg with 10 minutes to go fell loose in the goal mouth and Alexis Gutierrez was there to head it in for Hilldale. The Lady Hornets (7-2, 2-0) final goal came on a free kick by Gragg from 25 yards out which she lined into the upper right corner of the goal with 7:40 left in the first half. It was 4-0 Hilldale at intermission.
Porter got on the board when Mathis took a shot that Wright dove to deflect away at the goal. But Brieanna Henson was there to knock it back in just three minutes into the second half. Both teams had shots in the second half, but none were very close for either team.
“They came out stronger in the second half and we were back on our heels a little bit,” said Breckon. “I knew he was going to get them motivated and we just didn’t find our two forwards over the top as well in the second half as we did in the first half.”
Porter coach Chris Shearwood was pleased with the effort of his young team, which starts seven freshman and four sophomores.
“We’re learning and I think we’ll get there,” he said. “The sooner we get to that point, the sooner we’ll reap the rewards.”
The Lady Pirates (3-4,1-1) remains home against Fort Gibson on Tuesday while Hilldale returns home to play the Keys girls on Tuesday.
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