ENID, Okla. — Ava Burnett and Myah Hessell scored goals as the Enid girls rallied past Bethany, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Enid Invitational Soccer Tournament Thursday, March 23, 2023, at D. Bruce Selby Stadium.

The Pacers, 3-2, will play the Mustang JV at 8:40 p.m. Friday for the championship.

Enid trailed 1-0 at halftime after Brae Baker scored for the Bronchos with 31:07 left in the half. Pacers goaltender Bree Lamoreaux shut out Bethany the rest of the way.

“The quality of our football saw us through,” said Pacers coach Tim Lavoie. “It was a little bit more of a grind that I would have liked to have had. Sometimes it’s a grind. Sometimes it’s easy. Tonight was a grind, but we will take it.”

Lavoie said it “was unfortunate” the Pacers did not score in the first half when they had some opportunities to tie the contest.

“That’s how soccer is,” he said. “You have to be persistent. We continued to play well in the second half.”

Burnett scored her third goal of the week just five minutes into the second half to tie the score at 1-1.

“Me and her (Bethany goalkeeper) were going for the ball at the same time. She didn’t grab it and I got it. I was just there to follow it. I really didn’t get a good catch on it so I just followed it through and saw that it made it.”

Hessel gave Enid a 2-1 lead with a goal with 15:19 remaining. It was set up in part by a free kick by Baylee Ross from the 48-yard line.

“The ball came back out and I was able to dribble it out,” she said. “I was thinking about dropping back, but time was almost up so I shot the ball and luckily it went through her legs and into the goal.”

Bethany had a few free kicks but the Enid defense was up for it. Marisa Chavez took a shot off her face with 6:03 remaining. Baker was wide with another shot with 7:45 remaining. Lemoreaux’s last save came with 3:38 left.

“We did well defensively,” Lavoie said. “She (Lamoreaux) saved the shots that needed to be saved. Defensively we were tested a little bit differently. We are a young team that is growing and getting better.”

Enid was coming off a two-game losing streak with losses to Piedmont, 4-2, and Mustang, 3-2.

“It was just a good comeback,” Burnett said. “We’re getting our chemistry back together.”

“The win feels great,” Hessel said. “This keeps our chemistry up and boosts our confidence.”

Bethany reached the semifinals with a 1-0 win over Southmoore earlier. Mustang JV shut out Clinton, 2-0, and Choctaw blanked Duncan, 2-0, in the other quarterfinals. EHS had a first-round bye.

Southmoore shut out the Enid JV, 10-0, in consolation action.

First-round boys action starts Friday with Enid facing Bethany at 9 a.m., Southmoore meeting Duncan at 10:40 a.m., Clinton facing Choctaw at 12:20 and Hilldale meeting Putnam City West at 2.

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Campbell is a former sports writer and current part-time writer for the News & Eagle.

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Graduate of Oklahoma City John Marshall (1972) and University of Oklahoma. Been at News & Eagle since June 19, 1978. Previously worked at Oklahoma Journal, Midland, Texas Reporter & Telegram, Norman Transcript, Elk City Daily News

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