Bears Tie Undefeated Hawks


Kendall Gill, writer

Coming into Wednesday’s match (on September 27) against 3 time state soccer championship winners Urbana High School, the Oakdale girl’s varsity soccer team was prepared for a challenge. Coming off of several injuries, assistant varsity coach Lauren Graziano states, “Our greatest asset is that we work as a team together regardless of injuries and how we feel we can put that aside and put the team first.”


When asked about the team’s biggest strength, Junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Burns mentions,  “We have a really strong defense, and we have a lot of very talented players in the back. Urbana has some great attacking players but we just need to figure out how to handle them and shut them down.”


While consistent drives from Urbana were repeatedly shut down, Junior defender Madison Ryder and Senior Brynn Halsey proved to be a strong defensive force, consistently outrunning Urbana and maintaining a solid line of defense.


Within the first 40 minutes of play, an injury to Oakdale Junior Megan Connor from a penalty on Urbana, which gave a penalty kick taken by #7 Ryder. Unfortunately, the collision would have Connor out for the rest of the game.


Continuing in the first half, Urbana again had multiple breakaways, resulting in over a dozen saves from Burns, sending the Bears to the half with a scoreless tie.

After another scoreless half, with 5 minutes left in the second half, a shot from Urbana is deflected from the net by an Oakdale defender into the hands of Burns, only to then be ruled as a direct pass to the keeper in the box, resulting in a penalty kick and goal for Urbana.


Now on Urbana’s side of the field, a corner kick for the Bears with 2 minutes left is received by Halsey as she sends the ball into the net with 45 seconds left sending the game into its first overtime.


The first overtime continues on with the score at 1-1, resulting in a scoreless overtime and now a double overtime for the Bears and Hawks.


With under 1 minute left, the teams continue to battle it out until the end of double overtime, finishing the game in a 1-1 tie and ending Urbana’s streak of shutouts and defeats.


Asked Wednesday what fans should expect of the game, Coach Graziano tells fans, “Expect to see 11 people on that field completely exhausted after it and hopefully a good fight throughout the whole game.”, and that’s exactly what the Oakdale Bears got to see.