Lady Chargers survive, advance, defeat Clinton 4-2


Grace Logan

Senior Addie Thompson defends the ball against a Lafayette Commodores player earlier this season. The Charger’s game against Clinton was also senior night for the girls’ team, where seven seniors were honored.

Walker Bailey, Staff Writer

The Oxford Lady Chargers overcame multiple deficits to defeat the Clinton Arrows in extra time on Monday, Jan. 28. The Lady Chargers won 4-2 and overcame deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to do so.

“I think we continue to show that resilience that we’ve shown all year,” head coach Hunter Crane said. “I thought we came out a little flat, and it has been two weeks since we played an actual game, and I thought that we had a little rust we needed to knock off. We really turned it on at halftime and got some good opportunities in the second half.”

With the win, Oxford will travel to face Northwest Rankin in the second round of playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 2. The Lady Chargers faced Northwest Rankin earlier this season, and the result was a 1-0 score in Oxford’s favor. According to Crane, physicality is going to be the key again this weekend.

“We’ve seen Northwest Rankin already this year, and they are big and strong just like Clinton,” Crane said. “That’s kind of the theme for the Jackson teams. They’re going to come out and press us really high and try to do some things to our backline that we haven’t seen before. They are going to try to keep the ball out of the midfield, which is a place we really dominated in the last meeting.”

The game also represented senior night for the class of 2019. According to Crane, this is a special group to him because it’s his first group as the head coach here. Oxford will graduate seven seniors after this season.

“This was my first group when I took over four years ago,” Crane said. “We were talking about it earlier, and they have won two state championships, four district championships, and they have gone 84-13-2 over the last four seasons. You can talk about the stats all you want, but what impresses me the most is how they have come out and controlled and led the team.”

Senior defender Olivia Rychlak was one of the seven seniors honored on Monday night. She was voted one of the captains of this team at the beginning of the season. According to Rychlak, this team was the closest team she has ever been a part of.

“This team was like a family,” Rychlak said. “That chemistry was really enhanced by the beach trip that we took. Everyone just treats each other with a lot of respect and a lot of dependency. Everyone just contributes so much to the team and that has made leading this team a lot easier.”

According to Rychlak, every time they get a break there’s an uplifting atmosphere in the huddle that allows them to fix a lot of the mistakes they have made earlier in the game. Having to play from behind for most of the night, the atmosphere was no different for the Lady Chargers.

“Every time that we’re down, we just talk about it and come out more motivated than we were before,” Rychlak said. “We fix our mistakes and then we play with more passion and more resilience than before, because we know that our teammates depend on us to get the job done.”