The Poteau Lady Pirates soccer team, who are going to watch their Pirate counterparts try to win the Class 4A state title tonight with a win over Oklahoma City Santa Fe South, did not make the playoffs. However, they ended the season by winning their final two matches and three of their last four to end the season at 3-10 and 2-4 in district play. For the seniors, it was a grand way to go out.
“It definitely was a good experience,” said senior defender Samantha Yim. “The past few years we haven't had such a great team. I think the bonding we did this year definitely helped us, and it brought us up a lot.”
“It was really awesome, just the amount of adrenaline we got from that,” said senior goalkeeper Emily Hughes. “Winning the first game this season was just awesome, but to keep winning made us all feel really [emotionally] high. When we got done with that last game against Porter, it was sad that it was our last game.”
While it was a fun way to end the season, the entire 2013 season was an emotional one for the Lady Pirates.
On May 17 of last year, which was the next-to-last day of the 2011-12 school year, sophomore player Paige Underwood was killed in a single-automobile accident near Calhoun as she was coming to school that day. Friday will mark the one-year anniversary — which also will be the night that the Class of 2013 will graduate.
The Lady Pirates made sure Underwood was a part of the team.
“We just thought that she was always with us all the time in our minds and in our hearts,” said senior midfielder Karen Reyes. “It just made us do better each day in practice and in our games. She will always be with us, but we're all still going to miss her.”
On the Senior Night game against Heavener, the Lady Pirates wore a patch with the No. 8 — Underwood's number. In the win over the Lady Wolves, the Lady Pirates won the game 8-1.
“It felt really good because it felt like she was with us that night,” said senior forward Mariela Guerrero said. “To know that we were doing something for her was special. She was a great person and a great player. It really showed that we valued her on the team.”
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To get to Saturday night's title game site — Take U.S. 59 north to Sallisaw. Take Interstate 40 west to the Muskogee Turnpike. Take the turnpike west to Tulsa, where it becomes Oklahoma State Highway 51. Take Highway 51 west to U.S. 169. Take U.S. 169 north to I-244. Take I-244 west to Harvard Avenue. Turn left (south) on Harvard to East 11th. Turn right (west) to South Columbia Avenue. Turn right (north) on Columbia to the University of Tulsa Soccer Complex.