On the heels of their hard-fought victory over Mississinewa, the Oak Hill Golden Eagles played one of their most complete matches of the season against the Marion Giants in the annual boys and girls soccer doubleheader between the two schools.
Biddle found twine four times, Phillips scored twice, and the Golden Eagles defeated Marion 6-0 for their second victory in two days.
“It was very exciting,” Oak Hill Head Coach Alex Kenworthy said. “We started out hard and fast, and tried to maintain possession of the ball. I thought we did a fairly good job.”.
From the opening kickoff to the final horn, the Golden Eagles were locked in on both sides of the ball. On offense, they were aggressive, consistently applying pressure to Marion’s back line and making crisp, clean passes while moving up the pitch.
The Golden Eagles’ pristine ball movement led to several high-quality scoring chances throughout the match and positioned them to grab the momentum quickly.
“We are starting to get it,” Kenworthy said. “We are staying connected to where we can retrieve a pass from somebody else as opposed to running across the field and yelling for the ball.”
On defense, the Golden Eagles battled for every ball, especially on goal kicks, making it difficult for the Giants to make much of an offensive push.
“It’s such a detrimental thing for whoever is taking the goal kicks, especially if they don’t get it far enough,” Kenworthy said. “Our mindset is attack, attack, attack, and beat them to the ball. Doesn’t matter if they kick it to the 50-yard line or the 20-yard line, we want the ball first.”
They kept the ball on Marion’s side of the pitch for most of the match, and it led to consistent success.
“Winning those 50-50 balls is something that we try to stress as much as we can,” Marion Head Coach Ben Hawk said. “We’ve been working on getting our goal kicks up the field a little bit further. Today, it wasn’t happening for us. That helped Oak Hill out a little bit.”
Biddle opened the scoring for Oak Hill in the first three minutes, accepting a perfect pass from Melissa Kluevein and scoring on the first shot of the game to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.
From there, Oak Hill settled into their formation and controlled the flow of the contest the rest of the way.
Fresh off her hat trick against the Indians, Phillips picked up right where she left off, making a strong run through the Marion defense and scoring on a perfectly placed to the bottom left corner of the goal, doubling Oak Hill’s lead in the process.
A few minutes after her tally, Phillips was fouled in the box, leading to an Oak Hill penalty kick. Biddle capitalized on her opportunity, giving the Golden Eagles a 3-0 advantage heading into halftime.
The Golden Eagles outshot the Giants 13-4 in the first 40 minutes of play. Many of those shots came from Biddle and Phillips, who were perfectly in sync throughout the match.
“They read each other very well. Tegan, when she is playing up front, she is grasping the concept of angled runs,” Kenworthy said. “It used to just be straight up and down the field, and now, she’s everywhere. She’s going and trying to get off a defender’s back shoulder. It’s incredible and fun to watch. Carlee always has her head up, so if Tegan is making a run, Carlee is going to find her.”
The Golden Eagles kept the pedal down in the second half, scoring three more times to secure the six-goal triumph. Phillips scored her second goal nine minutes in, while Biddle added two more in the final 25 minutes of play.
Against Mississinewa and Marion, Biddle and Phillips combined for 10 goals.
Despite the loss for the Giants, Hawk is pleased with the progress his team is making and believes that his young team will only continue to improve as the season progresses.
“We keep getting better and better,” Marion Head Coach Ben Hawk said. “In the Jamboree, we played 40 minutes and lost to that Oak Hill team 5-0. There is improvement on the defensive side of the ball, and we did some better things today with passing and working the ball up the field. We need to work on passing into space and playing into space and really spreading the ball a little bit more.”
Shots were 26-7 in favor of the Golden Eagles, which included a 9-6 advantage in shots on net. Sierra Bakehorn, Grace Rowland, and Lauren Rex combined for the shutout in net.