Local Sports Journal
Oakridge girls soccer coach Jeff Lohman went so far as to say Tuesday’s 5-4 regional soccer victory over Cheboygan was one of the more special victories in school history.
And why not?
The Eagles rallied from a 3-0 halftime deficit to win the game and advance to Thursday’s Division 3 regional final soccer game against Grand Rapids Catholic, which defeated Ludington 2-1 in the other game.
Mariah Rozek scored 5 minutes into the game, Kelsa Dykehouse then made it 2-0 and McKenzie Carroll scored off a corner kick late in the first half.
And there you have it … a three-goal halftime deficit.
Brandy Weaver got the Eagles on the board 10 minutes into the second half after picking up a loose ball off a corner kick and scoring. That goal gave the Eagles the spark to get back into the game, according to Lohman.
Just two minutes later, Jade Ware scored after a direct kick by Mackayla Zimmer.
Near the midpoint of the half, Cheboygan was awarded a penalty kick for a handball and Rozek scored to make it 4-2. Eagle keeper Micky Wall made the save, but the official ruled she left the line too soon. On the second attempt, Rozek scored.
Oakridge pulled to within a goal with 9 minutes remaining when Keyara Wiard fired a direct kick from 35 yards out that skipped off the goalkeeper’s hands and into the net. That cut the deficit to 4-3.
Wiard took a direct kick with 5 minutes remaining and Megan Larabee scored off a head to tie the game.
“We had Megan move up from her position at defense and she was able to get to the ball before the keeper for the goal,” Lohman said.
Weaver passed a through ball to Shelby Wilde, who scored with 3 minutes remaining and the Eagles had their first lead of the game.
“This has to be one of the more special wins in our program’s history,” Lohman said. There were plenty of opportunities for the girls to give up. We were down one only 5 minutes in. We were down 3 in the first half and definitely played the worst half of soccer I have seen in years.”
The victory did not come without a price. Emily Jacoutot suffered an ankle injury
“We completely changed our system in the second half throwing numbers forward and taking girls out of the defense and the midfield,” Lohman said. “We certainly were playing high risk, but high reward, soccer in the second half and the girls never quit.”