Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hillcat women fall short in SAC Tournament

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Throughout the 2010 season, the Rogers State women’s soccer team demonstrated the power of teamwork while overcoming challenges toward gaining victories.

The Hillcats opened their fourth season stomping rivalry opponent Oklahoma Wesleyan 5-1, spawning a four-game winning streak. A handful of Head Coach Derek Larkin’s young ‘Cats stepped up to the challenge making big impacts for the team throughout the season.

One of the most notable key components for the Hillcats was freshman goalkeeper Chelsea McMullin. The Plano, Texas native currently holds the single-season saves record accumulating 120 saves.

The impressive freshman tallied a total of 12 saves to help push the Hillcats to a 4-3 victory over SNU and made 11 saves against top 25 nationally ranked Oklahoma City University.

“We are so happy about the way she has stepped up as a freshman, not only in her play but just her role in the team as a leader and I think she’s really earned the respect of all the players on the team. She’s definitely proven herself,” said Larkin.

In the ladder of conference play, the Hillcat women shuffled in between stunning victories and disappointing defeats.

Rogers State took down Lubbock Christian University 3-0 at the Soldier Field. Sophomore Jessica Turner scored two goals in the game and freshman Melissa Subu pitched in one goal heading the ball into the net.

Later in the week, the Hillcats took a loss on the road at the University of Science and Arts 1-0 after USAO scored with five minutes remaining in the match. McMullin came away with 12 saves in the game.

The Hillcats closed their regular season home slate edging Oklahoma Christian University 3-2. RSU honored 4 seniors: Bailey Lynn, Casey Freeman, Adrianna Jefferis and Tiffany Roberts who played in their final game on the Soldier Field; a bittersweet evening for the program.

“It’s hard to see them go, but at the same time you’re excited to see them go because you know they’re getting ready to move on to bigger and better things,” said Larkin. “There’s always life after soccer and hopefully we played a part in helping them get there.”

Senior Bailey Lynn played 1:38; the Oklahoma City native received a season ending injury during her preseason keeping her off the pitch. Junior goalkeeper Jessica McCutcheon finished the game, making nine saves while allowing two goals.

The Hillcats earned their second straight victory cruising past Northwestern Oklahoma State University 4-0. All of RSU’s points came in the second half, beginning with Subu in the 47th followed by junior Shereen Clarke 10 minutes later. Roberts fired in two shots in the 76th and 86th minute of the game.

Defeating NWOSU would be their last win of the season. RSU women fell to Mid-America Christian University 1-0 on the road.

The Hillcats managed to capture a fourth place seating in the conference earning home field advantage for the SAC Tournament. Yet, on Nov. 6 the Hillcat women suffered a season ending blow falling to Southern Nazarene University 2-1 in the opening round of the Sooner Athletic Conference.

The Rogers State women ended the season with a 10-7-1 overall record. Second Team All-Conference honors were awarded to McMullin and juniors Abby Rickner and Shereen Clarke.

Roberts completed her four-year stint at RSU becoming second in scoring with 41 saves along with earning SAC Player of the Week for the week of Oct 25-31 this season. Lynn finishes holding the career record of 293 saves.

Though earning a conference championship title fell out of their grasp this season, RSU women were determined in clawing their way to the top.

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