For the final 40 minutes of their sectional quarterfinal match against the Northwestern Tigers on Tuesday evening, the Oak Hill Golden Eagles played tremendous soccer on both ends of the pitch. They created multiple scoring chances kept the pressure on the Tigers’ defense, while not allowing their offense to find any sort of rhythm.
Despite that, however, the Golden Eagles were unable to recover from their play in the first 40 minutes, as two goals from Northwestern just 1:09 apart proved to be the difference in a 2-1 loss.
At the start of the contest, particularly in the opening 16 minutes, the Golden Eagles seemed to play with a lack of energy. They had trouble possessing the ball, and were unable to move the ball effectively.
And that, eventually, proved to be their downfall.
Sarah Castillo broke the scoreless tie in the 15th minute off a great pass from Emma O’Dell, before assisting on freshman Joan Easter’s goal moments later, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the blink of an eye.
“I have no idea what happened there in the beginning of the first half,” Oak Hill Head Coach Alex Kenworthy said. “I have no idea how they got those back-to-back goals that quick. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play our way out of it at that point.”
In the final 10 minutes of the opening period, Oak Hill began to find more success offensively, and it resulted in their lone goal of the evening with 7:31 remaining. Tegan Phillips crashed the net on an Oak Hill free kick, and punched the rebound home, cutting the Northwestern lead to 2-1.
The second half was controlled by the Golden Eagles. They outshot the Tigers 7-3 in the final 40 minutes, placing seven of those shots on frame, but they were unable knock home the equalizer.
“We stepped it up. We totally stepped it up,” Kenworthy said. “But again, we just could not get one stuck in the net. We woke up just a little too late.”
For the game, shots were even at 14-14. Kaitlyn Lagoni picked up the win in net for Northwestern, making 11 saves.
Though the Golden Eagles came out on the losing end, goalkeeper Sierra Bakehorn was tremendous in the box all evening long. She made 10 saves total, including seven in the first half, and she was flawless in the second half, keeping the Golden Eagles in the game until the very end.
“Sierra stepped up. She had a good game,” Kenworthy said. “I was proud of her in goal.”
The Golden Eagles finished the season with a 6-8-2 record.