, Muskogee, OK


April 25, 2014

Playoff-bound: Roughers’ OT win punches postseason ticket

It’s on to the playoffs for the Muskogee Roughers.

Roman Gutierrez connected on a penalty kick with 4:04 to play in the second overtime to propel the Roughers to a 2-1 victory over a determined Yukon Millers squad in a District 6A-3 soccer match Thursday night at Muscogee (Creek) Nation Field at Indian Bowl. The win puts Muskogee into the Class 6A playoffs for the first time since 2011.

“We knew it would be a battle from the beginning,” said a proud Rougher head coach Shawn Riley. “Our quality of play hurt us more than helped us. I think we ended up playing the way they wanted us to instead of the way we wanted to.”

After a scoreless first half, Yukon got on the scoreboard first with four minutes gone in the second half as London Khamphanthala corralled a loose ball in front of the Muskogee goal and put it in for a 1-0 lead.

 It took the Roughers (7-3, 5-2 in District 6A-3) less than two minutes to tie the game as Kevin Alverado headed in a throw in to knot things at 1-1. The rest of regulation was a series of near misses for Muskogee as they repeatedly penetrated into the goal box only to see the ball flicked away by the Millers defense at the last second. And Muskogee overcame some adversity in the last part of regulation and all of overtime after Carlos Martinez got his second yellow card of the game and the Roughers had to play one man short.

It looked like Muskogee might end it in the first overtime as Chase Soper made a nice run down the sideline and hit a through ball to Ernesto Martinez. But Martinez couldn’t quite get a foot on it and the goal keeper smothered the ball for the save.

Neither team threatened in the second overtime until Muskogee got its chance with Gutierrez loose in the goal box.

“I knew they were going to play me in and I knew they would kind of stab in and so I took a touch in to my left and got a hit and the defender stuck his leg out and tripped me,” said Gutierrez. “On the penalty kick, I made a split-second decision. As I’m running up I took a peek to see where the keeper is going to step and from there I just let it go. But usually I’ve decided beforehand where I’m going with the ball.”

The Roughers will finish no worse than fourth in the district and could be as high as third depending on how Bartlesville fares against Owasso tonight. It’s quite a turnaround for a team that was winless in district play just a year ago.

“This group has taken the steps to move the program into the next level,” said Riley. “We want to be one of those top tier teams like the Unions and Broken Arrows and Norman Norths. There are only seven or eight teams that have won the state title in 6A and our goal is to eventually be one of those teams.”

The Roughers will have some time to rest and get ready to hit the road for the opening round of the playoffs on May 6.


Girls: Yukon 6,

Muskogee 0

The Lady Roughers ended their season winless in district as Yukon scored in the first three minutes of the game on the way to a 5-0 halftime lead.

“We knew we’d give up some goals because of the wind and hoped we could make a second-half run,” said Lady Roughers coach Curt Denton. “But we gave them too much in the first half and we just couldn’t get enough shots on goal in the second half.”

With senior Ashlie Tull taking over the goal keeping duties late in the first half, Muskogee was able to stop the bleeding. Tull recorded seven saves.

On Senior Night, Denton reflected on some of the losses his squad will face.

“Losing Paige (Logsdon), (Morgan) Springborn and Fantashia (Jarrett), you know, they’ve been here the last two years I’ve been coach and they’ve been kind of a rock for us,” said Denton. “We’ve got a lot of work to do in the off season. We graduate some good players but I think we’ve got some good young players coming along.”

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