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While the day might not have started on a good note for the Duncan Lady Demons on Saturday at the Chickasha Invitational, DHS made sure it finished strong, finishing in third place overall.
HARRAH 2 DUNCAN 1
Against the No. 8 Lady Panthers of Harrah, the Lady Demons gave blood, sweat and tears to try and win the game, literally.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough on the day as a spirited comeback by DHS was thwarted by a dipping free kick from HHS’ Ashley Rimer in the second half, giving the Lady Panthers the victory at Borden Park.
“We played hard and came back in the second half,” Duncan coach Delydia Gay said. “This was a physical, emotional game for us. Maddy (Williams) had gotten taken out, along with Emily (Telles) and Charity (Meadows) as well. I’m proud of the way the girls conducted themselves and didn’t resort to cheap shots and just played good physical soccer.”
There wasn’t anything pretty about the second half between these two teams, which saw the envelope pushed to the limit on physical play.
Duncan’s Charity Meadows and Emily Telles were both recipients of violent elbows to the face, which both resulted in blood being drawn.
Meadows elbow to the face resulted in the ejection of Harrah’s Nikki Ezell late in the second half as the Lady Demons tried to tie the game.
Shai Johnson brought the Lady Demons back to 1-1 in the second half, when she collected the last touch off a free kick from Courtney Moore after a mad scramble in the penalty box.
Johnson almost put the Lady Demons in front moments later as she went one-on-one with HHS goalkeeper Brea Jewell, only to see her effort go just wide of the far post.
Rimer originally gave HHS a 1-0 lead in the first half when her deflected effort found the back of the net.
DUNCAN 2 MADILL 0
In their second game of the day, the Lady Demons rebounded in a big way against the Lady Wildcats.
Goals from Courtney Moore and Stephanie Wainscott were more than enough to claim third place for DHS.
“This means a lot to these girls,” Gay said. “These seniors have never gotten to play in this type of game here before. We believed we could win this whole tournament, and that’s confidence we have never had before. It’s a whole different mentality and play with this team.”
DHS never let the Lady Wildcats get a foot hold into the game, as Courtney Moore started the barrage on goal at the 27:41 mark.
Moore’s persistence would eventually pay off as her curling free kick effort found the net at the 13:14 mark to give Duncan a 1-0 lead.
Shai Johnson and Wainscott were unfortunate not to have added to the lead before halftime, as the Lady Demons were in firm control of proceedings.
Wainscott would also eventually be rewarded in the second half at the 18:02 mark, as she scored her second goal of the tournament, slotting home a pass from Johnson to give DHS a 2-0 lead.
Maddy Williams got her second shutout of the tournament in goal for the Lady Demons, who improved to 4-2 overall on the season.
DHS will open district play Tuesday night against Lawton MacArthur with kickoff set for 5 p.m. from Halliburton Stadium.