SMYRNA – The Oakland girls soccer team had an uphill battle on Thursday, but the Lady Pats got a little revenge, knocking off Stewarts Creek 3-1 to claim the District 7-AAA championship.
“Losing to Stewarts Creek twice in the regular season gave us the motivation to come out and work as hard as we could to get the win, especially because a lot of people didn’t think we could do it,” Oakland’s Monica Mullaney said.
“Winning the district championship is just the beginning of all the goals we have set for ourselves. We still have work to do and more to accomplish. I’m anxious to see what we can do with the rest of our season.”
Oakland struck first when Faith Adams hit a cross-pass to a wide-open Lainey Callis, who buried it past Stewarts Creek keeper Hallie Cherry for the 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, the Lady Red Hawks tied it 1-1 on a penalty kick from Delaney Mitchell.
However, Oakland buckled down and took a 2-1 lead before halftime on an Adam’s goal.
In the second half, it was more back-and-forth as each team relentlessly pushed the attack with the district championship on the line. Oakland extended its lead to 3-1 when Callis put on in the back of the net on a penalty kick.
For the next 13 minutes, the Lady Pats withstood the Stewarts Creek storm, shutting down the Lady Red Hawk attack and preserving the 3-1 win, the district title and avenging two regular season losses to Stewarts Creek.
“We’ve really stepped it up as a team and started playing with the intensity we should’ve had the whole season,” Adams said. “As a team, we finally set it in our mind that we need to keep this energy and keep going because we want to win.”
Following the match, several Lady Patriots earned all-district selections including Sophie Turner (Goalkeeper of the Year), Ella Riley (Freshman of the Year), Mullaney and Adams (first team All-District) and Callis and Amber Stacey (second team All-District).
For Stewarts Creek, several Lady Red Hawks also won all-district awards including Delaney Mitchell (Offensive MVP), Jeff Marlow (Coach of the Year), Annie Warner, Dakota Mitchell, Sabrina White and Olivia Marlow (first team All-District), and Kaitlin Jones, Emily Meyer, Hallie Cherry and Hannah Opie (second team All-Dsitrict).
Oakland will play Coffee County on Tuesday in the region tournament semifinal, while Stewarts Creek will play Columbia Central, also on Tuesday.
Follow Michael Gallagher on twitter @mpatrickg5