They say the tougher the battle, the sweeter the victory. Such was the case for the Deer Creek girls’ soccer team this season.
Coming into the season as the two-time defending state champions in Class 5A, everybody was gunning to take down the Antlers. Everyone tried, but nobody in Class 5A succeeded as Deer Creek won a third consecutive title finishing 17-3. Two of Deer Creek’s losses came in the Heart of America Tournament in Kansas City, and the third was to Class 6A Edmond Memorial.
Mikayla Lowery, The Oklahoman’s All-City Girls Player of the Year, scored two goals in the championship game against Carl Albert. The senior said this title run didn’t feel as assuring as the others.
“We battled as a team with injuries all year,” Lowery said. “So even going into playoffs, we were still kind of iffy. We didn’t have a strong midfield as we did last year. We moved players around all year and so we never had a true position. That made us nervous but I think honestly going into playoffs it kind of clicked. For me, it was when we played Heritage Hall and we were down. And we were all thinking this could be it because everybody was expecting more and then we came back.”
The comeback win over Heritage Hall in the state quarterfinals gave Deer Creek the boost it needed to knock off Carl Albert, a matchup that has become a regular affair in the postseason over the last few years.
Deer Creek has defeated Carl Albert in the Class 5A girls’ final for three consecutive years.
“This year I enjoyed beating them because it left no doubt in their mind,” Lowery said. “Their student section is so intimidating so it was nice to win.”