By Wendi Reardon Price
OXFORD — Oxford High School students raced onto the field in excitement last Thursday night and celebrated with their friends and classmates on the boys varsity soccer team.
The Wildcats, ranked No. 4 in the state by Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association at the time of the game, had just defeated Clarkston, ranked No. 1.
“We worked extremely hard,” said Adam Bican, head coach for Oxford, adding the players were able to sustain the effort for the entire 80 minutes. “It was a very intense match. Teams like Clarkston are so well coached, they are so disciplined. They play the ball so well. They are all top rated. To know we can compete with teams like that and tonight put a win on the board, then we are doing something right here in Oxford.”
Oxford was first to score with the first of two goals from senior captain Diego Medel with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Medel scored his second goal with 23:33 left in the game off a penalty shot.
“Everyone worked hard,” Medel said about the game. “We came in thinking we weren’t going to win. We took a bad loss to Berkley (two days before). We were kind of down. But then after that we knew we had to win to be in the top. We worked hard.”
He added the two goals felt good and he couldn’t have done it without his teammates and sophomore Braden Bowlby, who got him the penalty shot.
“Diego is one of the top players in the state,” Bican said. “He is extremely creative. He came with me four years ago and helped turn this program around to what it is today. He is one of the players who built the program to this level.”
Clarkston broke through on one of their many attempts with a goal from senior Matt de Hesselle with 18:36 left in the game.
The Wildcats moved up to the OAA Red from the OAA White in the 2020-2021 season and have lost to the Wolves.
“We have gotten it handed to us quite a bit. So, this feels pretty good,” Bican smiled, before hinting they will probably see them again in district playoffs. “I am pretty sure of it.”
The Wildcats opened the week with a 2-0 to Berkley, Sept. 19.
“We learned a lesson against Berkley,” Bican said. “We didn’t make that mistake tonight.”
Oxford (10-2-3, 4-1-0 OAA Red) heads into their last two weeks of the regular season. They opened the week against De La Salle Collegiate.
They head to Lake Orion today (Wednesday) and head to Rochester on Thursday. They head to Troy Athens on Tuesday, Oct. 3.
“We are confident now,” Medel said, heading into the games and the post-season. “We feel good. We beat No. 1. They are fifth in the nation. Now we think we are on top and that will help. Everyone on the team is dedicated. We come to training. Drew (Cady) and Jay (Cady) go to football, see film, practice, then come and play. They are tired and hurt, but they come to play. We show up to win.”
Bican added confidence is everything.
By Wendi Reardon Price