By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Improving to 4-0, the Oxford Wildcats girls’ soccer program picked up two convincing victories, routing the Walled Lake Western Warriors, 8-0, on April 12, and the Lapeer Lightning, 6-0, three days later.
The Wildcats have now outscored their opponents by a whopping 20-1 margin, with senior Mackenzie “Mackie” Methner responsible for 11 of those goals.
Against Walled Lake Western, Oxford took a 4-0 lead into the halftime break, with Methner registering a hat trick in the opening 40 minutes and freshman Ella Boyd tallying the other. The Wildcats duplicated their output in the second half, with Methner adding two more, Boyd finding the back of the net again, and sophomore Kiley Myrand recording her first of the season.
In the Lapeer clash, Methner scored twice in the opening half and completed her second-straight hat trick with 35:17 left in the game. Ella Boyd scored again, as did her sister, junior Carly Boyd, and Kayla Casper, another junior, scored the contest’s final goal, which was her first.
Averaging five goals-per-game, Oxford has been taking care of business on the offensive end, but the defense deserves some credit for this early-season success, too, as they have helped make life easy on junior goaltenders Brianna Barrows and Jenna Hickey.
“Ava (Kettler), Sabrina (Bucci), Lauren (Hudson), Abby (Walters), and then, when Jordan (Hung) plays back there, they’re just solid,” head coach John Thaler said.
“They work really well with each other; the chemistry is amazing. It’s what you need, you always have to build from the back, if you can’t build from the back, you’re going to lose it, so that was priority one. Having Lauren out there in front of Bucci, that duo’s perfect.”
Two of these defensemen, Hudson and Kettler, along with Carly Boyd and Casper on the offensive end, represent the 2022 class, a group that makes up eight of the 19 young women on the roster.
“I’ve got a really big pool of juniors coming back, I’ve got Carly, I’ve got Kayla and Ava, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Thaler said.
“I wish Mackie could stay for another year since she missed last year, but that whole junior group, right now, is the core. Both my keepers are juniors, it’s great.”
The team hit the road on Monday to battle the Anchor Bay Tars, a Macomb Area Conference (MAC) Red Division opponent, and began Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White Division play on Tuesday with another away game, this one against the rival Lake Orion Dragons.
Oxford will return home on Thursday to face the Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets at 6 p.m.
By Teddy Rydquist