The GHS boys and girls soccer teams each landed a win Tuesday night against their Westville counterparts at Ridgerunner Stadium.
The Lady Red opened the evening’s festivities with a 2-1 win and the Ridgerunners (2-1) followed that with a 3-1 final.
Freshman Andrea Gonzales scored an early first half goal to put the Lady Red on top. The Lady ‘Jackets responded with a goal late in the first to knot the score. GHS senior Baailee Tullis broke the deadlock late in the game with a winning goal to clinch the Lady Red win.
“Everybody that saw action (Tuesday) played pretty well,” Ridgerunner Soccer Head Coach Sean Botts said of his team’s win.
“We were able to rotate about 16 guys into the line-up,” Botts said. “Our pre-season scrimmages have really helped with our depth.”
Tuesday’s events were played in cold, wet, and gusty conditions but the team didn’t mind it too much.
“Since we won the weather wasn’t that big of a deal,” Botts joked.
The Yellowjackets struck first Tuesday scoring a goal after a little over thirteen minutes into the contest.
The Ridgerunners responded with two goals in the final eight minutes of the first half to gain a lead they would hold until the finish.
With 7:39 left in the first frame junior Walker Botts found the back of the net to give Grove their first points of the night.
Less than two minutes later GHS senior Reid Harding, with an assist from senior Chris Winnie, scored a goal that would place the Ridgerunners in front for good.
Grove iced the game with just over four minutes left on the second half clock off a goal from junior Adam Hardesty, with Botts assisting.
“The goal from Adam pretty much sealed it,” Botts said. “They (Westville) were trying hard to tie it up and get us into overtime.”
The Ridgerunner defense had a strong showing Tuesday night.
“We’ve cut down on our mistakes defensively since the start of the season,” Botts said. “I’d like to see a little more consistency from our offense.”
GHS goalkeeper John Meggyes finished with eight saves on the evening.
Tuesday night’s game marked the first varsity action of the soccer season for Hardesty and Harding who only just finished their duties with the Ridgerunner basketball team.
“Reid and Adam made an immediate impact with their speed and talent,” Botts said.
The added numbers add flexibility to the GHS line up, Botts explained.
“It means we can moves kid from offense to defense, or vice-versa, a lot easier without having any drop-off,” he said.
From here both Ridgerunner teams will spend the end of the week at the Oologah Tournament. The Oologah event will be the first time that the GHS soccer program has entered into regular season tournament play.
“There’s going to be some stiff competition down there,” Botts said of the tournament. “It’s a big tournament with a lot of 5A teams. We might be in 5A next year and if so then we could be seeing a lot of the teams at this tournament on next year’s schedule.”
Grove opens tournament plat against host Oologah and from there will play either Coweta or Collinsville, depending upon circumstances. The team is guaranteed a Friday game as well.
“We’ll do some experimenting with our line up down there,” Botts said about the tournament. “We’ll work on figuring out which combinations of players work best for us in different situations.
“The tournament is going to be a learning experience and should make us even stronger when we get back to district play,” Botts added.