PRYOR, OK —
The Pryor senior girls were honored after their game against Coweta Friday night, but that won't be the last time they will grace their home field.
Their teammates made sure of that.
Junior Karissa Aubrey scored a pair of second-half goals, including the go-ahead score in the 71st minute, to push the Pryor Lady Tigers past the visiting Lady Tigers, 3-2, to clinch second place in their district and the right to host a first-round playoff game.
"They were motivated. They were definitely motivated," Pryor head coach Kirk Emerine said. "They played as hard as or harder than they have all season. I had some girls that were doing things I hadn't seen them do all season."
It was a fiercely contested battle, especially in the second half. Coweta erased a 2-0 Pryor lead in the span of three minutes in the half, thanks to a Jessica Crites goal in the 58th minute followed by Rachel Pack's equalizer in the 60th.
"That's a dangerous lead, 2-0," Emerine said. "If they get one goal, then they have the momentum. They get one more and it's tied."
Pryor saw its fair share of close calls in the opening half, as keeper Elizabeth Anderson and other players failed to clear the ball from the goal box cleanly in the 25th, 30th and 31st minute. Luck was on Pryor's side though, and the home Lady Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Coweta played uphill almost the entire game, as Pryor's Carman Silas opened the scoring with a goal in the third minute. Aubrey squandered two chances to score in the first half on solo breakaways, with each shot rolling just wide of the net.
In a game filled with aggressive play, the chippiness finally boiled over after Aubrey's go-ahead goal. Four yellow cards were issued in the final 10 minutes, beginning with Aubrey's card for what the officiating crew considered an excessive "shoeshine" celebration.
Coweta's Kelsea Bandy and Crites and Pryor's Sara Due were each carded before the clock hit zeroes, and Pryor rushed the field to celebrate their huge win.
Its regular season concluded, Pryor (6-3, 5-1) will host its opening-round playoff game tentatively set for Monday, April 29. The time and opponent are yet to be decided.
"It's good [to get a home playoff game]," Emerine said. "It's good for the overall atmosphere of our program. We don't have to travel. We know our field. Most of the teams we could have played have a turf field, so we'd rather stay over here on a grass field."
The Lady Tigers' male counterparts played what Emerine called "their best game of the season" but came up just short in the late game, falling to No. 6 Coweta 1-0.
The game was deadlocked until the 71st minute, when Coweta's Kevin Langford scored the only goal of the game.
While Coweta improved to 10-3, Pryor fell to 1-8 on the year and will play its last game of the year against Tulsa Central next week.
The Pryor seniors honored Friday were Jaclyn True, Tara Shelby, Kevin Langley, Jordan Moore, Josh Ogg, Evan Gietzen, Ryan Pettus and Alex Smith.