In only its second year, Piedmont's girls' soccer team has reached the Class 4A state semifinals, despite losing one of its best players to a season-ending knee injury.
The Wildcats were 11-4 in their inaugural season of soccer, losing to Clinton in the first round of the playoffs.
Piedmont rides at 11-game winning streak into Tuesday night's playoff game at Fort Gibson.
The Wildcats, 13-2, have outscored their opponents 56-2 over those 11 games, including nine shutouts. Piedmont's only losses this season were to Deer Creek and Harrah, two teams still playing.
The club has been able to overcome the loss of Jordan Hendren, who was the team's leading scorer before tearing at ACL in midseason.
Sophomore Bianca Cardenas and freshman Kylie Pyle have stepped up for the Wildcats. Cardenas has scored 19 goals on the season while Pyle has added 17.
Piedmont coach Brad Brucker had expected the offensive production to drop after Hendren's injury.
“I didn't expect our freshman (Pyle) to take off like she did,” he said. “She has really come alive since that time.”
BETHANY ON HISTORIC RUN
In the 13-year history of Bethany soccer, the Bronchos' boys team has won a total of two playoff games.
This year, the Bronchos already have three wins, counting their victory in the play-in game. Bethany, 12-5, will travel to Poteau Tuesday for the Class 4A semifinals.
Bethany coach Sean Williams said a 3-2 shootout loss to perennial power Santa Fe South earlier in the season was a turning point for the Bronchos.
“That game gave us a lot of confidence going into the playoffs,” Williams said.
The Bronchos have been led by Michael Ross and John Page, who scored all of the club's goals in playoff wins over Cache and Weatherford.
“Both have stepped up in the playoffs,” Williams said. “Both have done a great job offensively.”
But the strength of the team is defense and goal keeper Colin Spencer, Williams said.
“We build our program around him and our defense,” he said.
SAINTS LOOKING FOR REDEMPTION
Santa Fe South boys' coach Wes Furley doesn't mince words. He thinks the Saints are the best team in Class 4A.
“We should win it (the state championship),” Furley said.
But Furley also believed the Saints were the best team last year when Santa Fe South lost in the state championship game to Mount St. Mary.
The Saints led 1-0 when St. Mary scored with 17 seconds left to tie the game. St. Mary then won the state title in overtime.