Oxford soccer loses close match to Midland, 2-1

By Jim Newell
Managing Editor
OXFORD TWP. — The Oxford girls varsity soccer team lost its season home opener 2-1 to Midland on Saturday at Wildcat Stadium in a back-and-forth battle that came down to the final minutes of play.
The Chemics got on the board in the first five minutes of the non-conference game, playing a controlled possession game for much of the first half.
Oxford got on the scoreboard with 25:59 left in the first half when senior forward Ella Boyd tied the game 1-1 during a Wildcat counterattack.
Most of the first was a back-and-forth battle with both teams getting scoring chances but failing to convert. There was a brief scare for the Wildcats at 10:24 left in the half when the Chemics were awarded a penalty kick after a foul in the Oxford goal box, but the Midland player hit the goalpost on the shot and the referees called an offside on Midland on the follow up.
Wildcat Vivian Cruz had the best chance for Oxford to take the lead with just under 15 minutes to play with a shot on goal that the Midland keeper was able to handle.
The second half was all Oxford. The Wildcats kept possession of the ball throughout much of the second half, keeping the Chemics on their heels as the Oxford midfield and forwards kept the ball in Midland’s half of the field.
Oxford’s defense played tough against the Midland attack, and goalie Korinne Ihrke only faced one shot through the first 25 minutes of the second half, easily handling the Midland scoring attempt.
Midland began showing signs of desperation amidst the continuous onslaught from Oxford midfielders and forwards and finally broke out of their own half to attack the Wildcats in the final 12 minutes of the game.
Midland’s Elliot Hays gave the Chemics the lead with 10 minutes left in the game with a low shot that went to Ihrke’s left and into the side netting to take the 2-1 lead. Oxford had a few a scoring chances after the Midland goal but were unable to put the ball into the back of the net.
Oxford is now 1-2 overall on the season, 0-1 in the OAA Red division. The Wildcats started the season with a 2-0 non-league victory over Goodrich on April 2, followed by a 2-1 loss to Rochester in an OAA Red matchup on April 4.
Oxford was scheduled to play Stoney Creek in an OAA Red game on Tuesday after Leader press time. The team travels to Lake Orion on Friday for a non-league game beginning at 7 p.m. The Wildcats’ next home game is 7 p.m. April 16 against Rochester Adams.

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