Enid News and Eagle
JENKS, Okla. —
The Enid High girls soccer team faced the staunchest test of its best season in program history on Tuesday, and almost passed it.
The Pacers lost 1-0 to Jenks on a 22nd-minute goal, while the Plainsmen were overwhelmed in a 7-0 nightcap loss Tuesday at Jenks as Enid’s girls and boys soccer teams were swept for the first time 2014.
The Lady Trojans had been a serious bugaboo in the past for the Pacers. Jenks (9-1, 4-0) entered the game having outscored Enid 14-0 in the teams’ previous two meetings, including an especially dominant 8-0 win the last time the Pacers visited the Lady Trojans in 2012.
Enid coach Craig Liddell called that loss a “nightmare.” Tuesday’s, he said, was much different.
“The girls just went toe-to-toe with literally one of the best teams in the state,” Liddell said. “They (Enid) really gave them a genuine battle. I’m really proud of our effort.”
Aside from a pair of defensive missteps on Jenks’ goal 22 minutes in, Enid largely stayed with its usual tormentor. Senior keeper Grace Enmeier stopped three dangerous chances in the first half to keep the game at a one goal deficit entering halftime, but the Lady Trojans kept Enid’s nearly three-goal-per-game offense from gaining traction in the second half, holding on to hand the Pacers (8-2, 3-1) their second loss, and first by clean sheet.
“They (Enid) played such a respectful game,” Liddell said. “We were a little disappointed the goal we gave up was the game-winner. … A little more belief, a little more finishing, a little more anticipation. … It comes down to reading the play, a little more experience in these tough battles, and we’ll turn the corner.”
The Plainsmen scored a 4-3 upset win the last time they faced Jenks. The Trojans were never at risk of a repeat performance in this season’s district matchup.
Jenks raced out to a 5-0 halftime lead, consistently testing the back line of an Enid team that typically is the faster group in its game but wasn’t on Tuesday.
The loss was another tough night for a Plainsmen team that has scuffled since a 4-0 start. Enid (5-5, 1-3) lost for the fifth time in six games since its hot start.
“There’s so much you can tell from body language and effort,” Liddell said. “There’s no one hanging heads and not trying. They’re not happy, but in the same breath, heads are up. These guys will keep fighting till the end.”
Enid hosts district opponent Ponca City on Friday, varsity games starting with a 6 p.m. girls game at D. Bruce Selby Stadium and finishing at 8 p.m. with the boys’ nightcap. Enid’s Sophie Holle needs one goal against Ponca City to break her own season scoring record of 11 goals.