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Wildcat soccer excels in first weekend back

By Greg Evans

It’s soccer season again in Piedmont and the season got started last Friday against Woodward. The Piedmont girls won 5-2 and the boys lost 4-1. The Wildcats also faced Clinton on Monday with the girls winning 6-0 and the boys winning 1-1 (4-3) in an overtime shootout.

“We had scrimmaged the night before (the Woodward game),” Coach Zac Selph said. “We were a little tired but they beat us. We made some poor decisions that led to goals but they were not horrible. Woodward just capitalized on our mistakes.”

Piedmont earned its first win of the season on Monday against the Red Tornadoes.

“We were well rested and we played with high intensity,” Selph said. “We didn’t let off and that’s why we got the result we got. Edgar Silva scored our goal in regulation and Butch Hampton, Thomas Spencer, Kanton Logan and Mitchell McGinnis scored shootout goals.”

The shootout victory is the second time in the team’s short history that the Wildcats have won a game by shootout.

“We beat Harding by shootout last year in our first sanctioned game,” Selph said. “I don’t know how to explain how tough it is to win in a shootout. Most coaches don’t like games ending that way, because we can’t go take the kicks for them. Our guys stayed composed though, all of the guys that shot were freshmen and sophomore but one. To be young and deal with that pressure, it’s fairly impressive. You have to guess and be lucky. You just have to keep the ball inside the frame to give yourself a chance. If you go over or wide, you’ll get in trouble. Four of our five guys did what we asked. We have knots (in our stomachs) watching but our guys did well.”

The Lady Wildcats started their season off with a victory over an up-and-coming Woodward team.

“We had goals by (Jordan) Hendren, (Bianca) Cardenas, two by Kylie Pyle and one by Sydney Campbell,” Coach Brad Bucker said. “We played really well. Woodward mixed it up a bit and they were stronger than we thought. They were physical on the backside and beat us up a bit. Offensively, that was our best game to that point. It really went well. We had a couple of defensive breakdowns but we buttoned those up against Clinton. I was very happy with our chances. It’s not how many goals you score it’s how many good opportunities you had to score.”

Last year, Piedmont was knocked out of the playoffs by Clinton and the girls were looking for a bit of payback on Monday.

“We cleaned up some of the things that got us against Woodward,” Bucker said. “The girls were pretty amped up. We settled down pretty quick though and led 2-0 at the half. Bianca and Julia (Grimes) both scored goals in the first half. We settled down in the second half and played our own brand of soccer. We connected on passes more on the outside. Brenna Nixon had an exceptional game. Bianca scored another goal in the second half, Alex Clyden had two and Sydney had one. I’m really happy with where we are. We are getting better every game and the girls realized (Tuesday) watching film that we are not even close to as good as we can be as a team.”

Piedmont hosts Deer Creek next Monday. Junior varsity girls start at 3 p.m., JV boys are at 4 p.m. The varsity girls game starts at 5:30 p.m. and the boys game starts immediately after the girls. The Wildcats will also host Harrah next Thursday, March 14.

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