Reserve keeper saves Mac girls
It might not get the same hype its counterparts in football and basketball do, but the rivalry between the Eisenhower and MacArthur soccer teams is none the less intense.
And Tuesday night at Cameron Stadium, the Highlanders got the better of their Gore Boulevard rivals, with the girls eeking out a 1-0 win, while the boys scored three early goals in a 3-0 victory over Ike.
Defense key to victory
MacArthur was already not at full strength.
After an injury to starting keeper Jasmine Schara, Zaria Jessie, who typically lines up as a defender, was called upon to be the starting keeper Tuesday.
"Our goalkeeper got hurt last game so it was just a 'next man up' mentality," MacArthur coach Marcus Williams said.
Jessie performed admirably, making some key saves, including a free kick attempt from McKenzi Pettit that Jessie punched away. And although she only ended up with four official saves, she ended up with stat that mattered the most: zero, as in goals allowed.
A goal by sophomore Rayne Hudson 10 minutes into the game gave MacArthur a little bit of cushion. Even so, Jessie's performance was needed, as the game remained tight.
As Ike poured on the pressure in the second half, Jessie was aided by a great defensive effort. Nine of Eisenhower's 12 shots came during the final 40 minutes. On the other side, MacArthur had nine shots the entire game. And although only one of Ike's second-half shots was on target, the defensive effort was still much appreciated by the team's coach, who preached that it wasn't how many the Highlanders won by, just that they won.
"Our big thing was we want to score first and score last," Williams said. "You do those things, you win the game, most likely."
The Highlanders (6-4, 2-0 in District 5A-2) visit district leader Piedmont on Friday. The Eagles (0-4, 0-2) play at Western Heights on Friday.
Swierkosz spearheads Mac
At many high schools, especially in military towns like Lawton, families can move at the drop of a hat and student-athletes often are relocated as part of the process.
MacArthur boys soccer coach Marcus Williams is probably pretty happy the family of Alistar Swierkosz moved to Lawton and that the junior ended up at MacArthur.
He was certainly glad to have him Thursday. The midfielder made his presence known just two minutes into the game when he slotted a shot between Eisenhower goalie Roberto Viruet's legs for the game's first goal.
It set the tone for the rest of the night. Less than eight minutes later, sophomore Andrew Celedon put one past Viruet. By then, momentum was fully on Mac's side. But the worst was yet to come for Eisenhower.
In the 19th minute, Swierkosz dribbled through a crowd of four Ike defenders, eventually finding himself in front of goal. He wasn't about to waste this golden chance.