Phoenix staff report
MANNFORD — The Hilldale Lady Hornets saw their second season come to an end in a 2-1 loss to Mannford in a Class 4A play-in game on Friday.
The Lady Hornets finish their season at 5-10, wondering what might have been.
“We didn’t have the intensity I thought we should have,” said Hilldale coach Brent Breckon. “We played them last week and beat them 3-1. I don’t think we came out with the same desire that we had last week.”
The Lady Pirates jumped on top first when Mariah Nicolet converted a free kick from 23-yards out in the 20th minute. The lead didn’t last long as Leah Gragg connected on a shot one minute later to even the score at 1-1.
The score remained tied until the 65th minute when Nicolet was fouled in the penalty box and awarded a penalty kick. She put the shot past Hilldale goalkeeper Nicole Wright for the game winner.
“(Nicolet) is a good little player,” Breckon said. “She got loose one time and drew the foul, getting the penalty kick. The first goal came when we were called for a handball and she scored on that free kick. We knew she was going to be the one to hurt us and we didn’t take care of business, not like we should have.”
The loss spoiled a solid defensive effort by the Lady hornets as Wright faced only three shots. On the other hand, Mannford’s defensive effort was just a solid as the Lady Hornets were only able to muster three shots themselves.
“Overall the girls did a great job, for being just the second year,” Breckon said. “We made the playoffs and lose only two senior starters, Caitlyn Morgan and Whitney Varley. We had a really good chance to go past this game but that’s just the way it works.”