By: Rodrigo Solis
Special to Guthrie Sports Page
When the final whistle blew, the Guthrie crowd raised their hands up in the air celebrating the Lady Jays 5-1 victory over Noble to secure their spot in the state semifinals.
Saturday was another historic night for the Lady Jays soccer team, who are riding an impressive eight game winning streak and improved to an 11-4 record.
Guthrie will host the Class 5A state semifinal game on Tuesday night (May 7) against Bishop Kelley. The Lady Comets (12-4) won their district (three) and will enter the game on an eight game winning streak after defeating Pryor and Metro Christina in their two playoff games.
Captain and leading scorer Mercy Dement, a junior, led Guthrie with a solid performance on Friday. Earlier in the day, she competed in three distance events at the track regional meet in Edmond.
Dement talked about how she felt before the game.
“I felt more warmed up, my adrenaline was already going. I didn’t even feel tired.” She added, “we felt strong coming” into the second round home playoff game.
The Lady Jays knew exactly what to expect after defeating Noble earlier in the season, but knew they couldn’t get too comfortable and overlook the Lady Bears.
Playing without their regular keeper, the Lady Jays improvised by shifting midfielder Amanda Montgomery to the goal.
“I felt very nervous, I was literally shaking,” Montgomery said.
The game had an explosive start with both teams creating scoring opportunities. Mercy Dement scored the first goal of the night 12 minutes into the contest.
Noble struck back immediately as they played a ball through the Guthrie defense and dribbled past the keeper to tie the game with 27 minutes left in the first half.
Both teams defense was pushed to the limit as both areas were reached several times. Once again, Dement made a great run and made a nice finish to put the Lady Jays back in front (2-1).
Noble almost had another immediate response but their shot bounced off the post.
With eight minutes remaining in the first half, Dement got the ball inside the box and beat Noble’s keeper to add to their lead. Reminiscent of the last game, where the score was 3-1, head coach Monte Myers told his players to keep their heads in the game.
Noble maintained possession for most of the second half trying to shorten the lead, but Guthrie’s defense and goalkeeper managed to hold off their rivals.
With six minutes left in the contest, senior Mikayla Williams battled for the ball inside the box and took a shot that turned into the fourth goal.
The game’s scoring finished 5-1 after a late own goal coming from Dement as the ball was deflected by one of Noble’s defenders.
Following the game, Dement talked about the remarkable improvement the team has made throughout the season.
“I think it’s the teams chemistry. We have gotten along more and wanted to do something that has never been done before.”
Montgomery, a senior, added, “We made history.”
Guthrie will continue to attempt history in the program’s first semifinal game, and will be tested as Bishop Kelley has won 15 state titles since 1999, including their last title in 2017.
The other 5A semifinal game will feature Bishop McGuinness and Booker T. Washington.
Rodrigo Solis Ruiz is a graduate of Guthrie High School is attending Oklahoma State University and majoring in sports media.