On a cold, dark night on Thursday, the Tahlequah boys soccer team was right where it wanted to be. A two-goal lead with 29 minutes left in regulation.
The lead, however, was cut into from by penalty kick that came merely a minute after Tahlequah’s penalty kick that gave them the two-point advantage. Up by only one, the Tigers denied the first effort from a corner kick but the putback was put in by Miami with eight minutes remaining.
Regulation ended dramatically with a last-minute save by Tahlequah and when the final whistle blew the Tigers had the ball and only the goalkeeper to beat.
But after the penalty kicks the Wardogs managed to hit the back of the net on all five attempts. Meanwhile, THS missed one, giving Miami the win.
“The goal was too small for us,” Tahlequah coach Gary McClure said. “We’ve got to adjust where we’re putting it.”
Two of the three goals came from the 12-yard spot after Miami fouled Tahlequah inside the box. Senior Ruben Quezada gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute. Senior Ivan Nava gave Tahlequah its second lead with 14 minutes left in the first half and junior, Miguel Rodriguez, finished scoring for Tahlequah in the 11th minute of the second half.
Tahlequah’s offense took control of the game but the end outcome did not go their way. THS took 27 shots compared to 10 for Miami.
“That’s the way it was last Tuesday,” McClure said. “Finishing, got to learn to finish.”
Even though Tahlequah is off to a 0-2 start, McClure is not worried.
“We got better tonight, that’s our goal,” he said. “To get better.”
Tahlequah 4, Miami 0 (girls)
The Class 5A No. 13 Lady Tigers took it to Miami in a 4-0 shutout victory. Offensively, it was clearly one sided.
Tahlequah forced the Lady Wardogs keeper to make 41 stops, while the Lady Tigers had to stop the ball three times.
“I’ll take a win every day,” THS coach Greg Hall said. “We should’ve had a lot more goals. Their keeper blocked them, but we’re not following up.”
The Lady Tigers will get a two-week break before getting back out on the pitch and the break is something that Hall wants.
“Good to go into the break with a win,” he said. “Got to rest up key starters and give us some time to rest up.”
With all of the injuries, the Lady Tigers showed that the roster is filled with girls that can contribute good minutes.
“I know I’ve got some depth,” said Hall.
Senior Melanie Paris hit a goal in both 40 minutes and freshman, Kalie Champlain, did the same to help start the lady Tigers out on a 2-0 run.
“Our freshman could’ve had a hat trick and our senior got her third goal of the year,” said Hall. “It was a good performance from everyone.”