PRYOR, OK —
The Pryor Lady Tigers are perennial visitors to the first round of the playoffs, but it will be another year before Pryor gets a chance at a second-round game, after a heartbreaking 1-0 double-overtime loss to Cascia Hall in Tuesday's first-round contest at Pryor.
"I'm tired of losing in this round," PHS head coach Kirk Emerine said. "We have just got to find a way to get over this hump."
This is the fifth straight year the Lady Tigers were ousted in the first round, but the first time in Emerine's four-year tenure that Pryor hosted a first-round game.
Pryor (6-4) and Cascia were deadlocked for 81 minutes before the Lady Commandoes' Sydney Folger finally drew blood in the second overtime.
Folger, who missed a penalty kick in the 51st minute, initiated a corner kick near the beginning of the second extra period. After an Elizabeth Anderson deflection save put the ball in a crowd just outside the goal box, Folger found her way through a thicket of navy and white jerseys to score the game-winner.
"There's 500 people in front of the goal and she finds that one spot to put the ball in the goal," Emerine said.
Both squads had myriad opportunities to score, especially in the first half. Pryor striker Karissa Aubrey failed to connect on a pair of breakaways in the eighth and 21st minutes, and had a goal waved off thanks to a questionable offsides penalty in the 11th minute.
Cascia had consecutive shots sail wide in the 15th and 16th minutes, and Anderson saved a shot on a Commando free kick in the 18th minute.
Two Lady Tigers donned their home whites for the last time Tuesday.
"I have to thank Jac (Jaclyn True) and Tara (Shelby) for what they did the four years they were here," Emerine said of his two seniors. "We haven't been district runner-up since I've been here, so they've really helped elevate us and take us to that level."
Emerine said he doesn't think he subbed Shelby out once all season, meaning Shelby played every minute of every game her senior year.
Despite the devastating loss Tuesday, Emerine is "encouraged" about the 2014 edition of Pryor soccer, given the returning talent on the roster.
"But I would have rather won tonight," Emerine added with a smile. "I'm proud of them. I'd take those girls over Cascia Hall any day."
Look for photos from this game in the Thursday, May 2, 2013 edition of the Pryor Times.