The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


April 5, 2014

EHS soccer teams sweep Bixby

ENID, Okla. — The Enid Plainsmen soccer team returned to form on Friday, and the Pacers stayed on their own hot streak, with both teams opening their 6A-4 district schedules Friday with wins over Bixby at D. Bruce Selby Stadium.

The Pacers opened with a 2-0 win. The Plainsmen won 2-1 in the nightcap.

Grace Enmeier stopped all eight shots on target from Bixby, helping record the Pacers’ third-straight clean sheet and 2-0 score in the opener. It was the first time 17th-ranked Bixby (5-3, 1-1) was shutout in 2014. The Spartans enter Friday’s game averaging four goals per game and featuring a Division I prospect at forward in Tatum Wagner.

“(Enmeier was) playing against a really powerful team and one of the best forwards, not in the state, but in the region (in Wagner),” said Enid head coach Craig Liddell. “She’s a legit player … (Enmeier’s) commitment has been great. As a multi-sport letterman (basketball), you’ve got to be able to hit the ground running, and she’s done that.”

Enmeier was given a quick cushion, but had to protect it moments later. Sarah Blakely headed in her first goal of the season on a corner from Abigail Resendiz 50 seconds in to give Enid a 1-0 lead. Bixby had its best scoring chance of the game less than a minute after, Enmeier racing from the center of her net to her own right post to stop a point-blank chance off an early deflection.

Bixby out-chanced Enid 8-5 on target and 12-10 overall, but the No. 15 Pacers (6-1, 1-0) took a 2-0 lead at the 28:17 mark in the first half when Sophie Holle stole the ball from a Bixby defender 20 yards out, holding a second one off to just outside the 6-yard box, and scoring in the low-left corner.

The goal, Holle’s eighth, pulls her to within three of tying a team-record 11 that the senior set as a freshman, with six games still remaining.

The Plainsmen (5-2, 1-0) endured what was by far their most physical game of the season, holding Bixby off after a Spartan penalty shot halved Enid’s 2-0 lead with 3:03 left. Enid had six on-target chances in the first half, but couldn’t break through until Pedro Braga’s shot was saved but deflected out to Jaime Rodriguez for an easy goal to break a 0-0 tie at the 33:25 mark in the second half.

Braga had previously been taken to the ground three times, once drawing a yellow card when he shimmied past one defender, and a second one shoved the sophomore. It was the first sign of the game transitioning from physical to chippy, Bixby twice being shown yellow cards in the second half.

“We knew they were gonna be fast, strong, physical,” Liddell said. “They knew were gonna try and play, so that was what they wanted to do, disrupt that. They did well in the first half. They gave us fits, really because we never found a rhythm because they were in our face.”

Braga seemed to clinch the game with 10:23 left, taking a well-placed through-pass from Edin Rodriguez, stepping left from a charging Bixby goalkeeper and flicking the ball into an open net while still in full stride, transitioning to a celebratory gallop afterward after having spent much of the previous 70 minutes absorbing shoves and slide tackles.

Enid keeper Victor I. Hernandez saved Austin Sides’ initial penalty shot in the final moments, but Sides scored on the rebound to make the game close again, but the Plainsmen played in Bixby’s half for most of the remainder.

Both Enid squads climbed to third place in 6A-4 with their wins. The Pacers play sixth-place Tulsa Washington (5-2, 0-1) on Tuesday. The Plainsmen will face the stronger Tulsa Washington side, Booker T’s boys are ranked 11th in 6A and second in 6A-4 at 4-0 overall and 1-0 in district.

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