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Oak Hill soars past Peru

CHANGE OF FIELD: Peru senior Claire Boyer (R) makes a move with the ball to relieve pressure from the defense during Monday night's non-conference girls' soccer match against Oak Hill. The Tiger defense was a beleaguered outfit by the end of the match, conceding five times in the first half of a 9-1 loss to the Golden Eagles.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

There was a goal party at the Peru North Athletic Complex Monday night.

Unfortunately, the hosts didn’t get the invite until late in the evening as Oak Hill scored five goals in the first half and the Tigers were only able to get a consolation penalty in the second half of a 9-1 loss.

Peru girls’ soccer head coach Kelsey Jones said the squad was game to battle the Golden Eagles but were second best on the evening.

“It was rough,” Jones said. “They’re playing and doing things we ask.

“There’s always room for improvement but we’re proud of them. They play hard, they got after it, played for all 80 minutes, were involved, cheer their teammates on and as long as they’re engaged, they’re battling, they’re doing the things they lean in practice and apply them, there’s not much more I can ask.”

Oak Hill flew out of the traps and scored in three minutes through Tegan Phillips, followed by a Carlee Biddle goal from a corner to give the visitors a 2-0 lead in the opening 15 minutes of play.

Phillips would not need long to secure her hat trick, hitting a quickfire double near the halfway point of the first half to put the Golden Eagles out of sight.

The goals prompted a reshuffle of the lineup with Claire Boyer moved from a more attacking position into the heart of the defense, a sacrifice Jones said the senior was willing to make.

“We needed some speed in the back so we rotated some girls around,” Jones said. “Everyone is open to move to different places to help out when needed.

“Claire is a phenomenal athlete, a great leader on the team and helps out when needed.”

Biddle capped the scoring in the first half with 10 minutes to play as Oak Hill went into the break with a 5-0 lead before Phillips added her fourth shortly after the restart.

Reserves began to rotate in for the Golden Eagles though that left gaps that Peru began to exploit, leading to some sustained pressure on Grace Rowland in goal, Rowland having replaced Sierra Bakehorn, who had moved out to the field.

The Tigers were able to get on the scoresheet though it took a penalty to do the trick after the visitors were adjudged to have handled in the box, a play that saw Rowland go off injured and Bakehorn hastily return to goal, only to see Emily Campos’ spot kick beat the keeper to her right.

“It felt good,” Jones said on winning and converting the penalty. “The girls practice every day and its’ good to see something come from that.

“They’re doing what’s asked and a win every now and then would be nice. There was a relief of pressure off the field when they scored.”

Melissa Kluevein would have the last say, having scored twice prior to the penalty, notching a hat trick with eight minutes to play to complete an emphatic win for Oak Hill.

Peru drops to 1-4 on the season ahead of a trip to Wabash to face the Apaches for the second time this season Thursday.

Matches between the two schools have been hotly contested affairs with only one contest decided by more than one goal in the past four seasons.

 

Jones said the players understood it would be a close-run outing and the team needed to continue playing as a unit to get their desired outcome.

“We know what to expect going against Wabash,” Jones said. “We want the girls to play as a team, to move the ball up the field as a team and we’re looking for the same team that was competitive with them earlier to show up again.”