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B.A. Tigers Celebrate State Soccer Crown

By MIKE MOGUIN
Sports Writer

NUMBER ONE: Broken Arrow players celebrate after winning the Class 6A Boys Soccer Championship on May 13.


DEAN ATCHISON for GTR Newspapers


If there was ever a memorable high school soccer game in boys’ championship history, Broken Arrow’s 2-1 win over Stillwater in a shootout on May 13 for the Class 6A boys’ title could be it.

An incredible goal and an intense series of penalty kicks (PKs) were the highlights for the Tigers, who finished with a 6-5 edge in the shootout at the Hurricane Soccer and Track Field, located on the campus of the University of Tulsa.

Seniors Hunter Meeks-Riner and Blake Anderegg greatly impacted the game.

Broken Arrow (18-2) fell behind 1-0 early when the Pioneers got a goal six minutes into the game. It looked as if B.A. was going finish on the short end as the Tigers struggled to get the ball into the net until late in regulation.

Meeks-Riner then scored a goal that came in incredible fashion, as the defender kicked the ball high from 60 yards from the center of the pitch to the net with 7:27 left, and it was a tie game.  

“I would call it a good goal,” Meeks-Riner says. “The keeper just messed up and my players ran through it. It was just a good ball I guess.”

“He saved the team in my opinion,” Anderegg says. “If it wasn’t for that goal, we wouldn’t have gone into PKs or overtime. So I owe it to Hunter.”

Anderegg finished with seven saves in the game. After two scoreless overtime periods, he made some critical saves in the shootout, including a two-handed stop that denied Stillwater’s Braden McReynolds from making a shot that would have won the game for the Pioneers.

When the shootout came, fans of both teams went down to the field, flanking their respective sides at the north end of the pitch, cheering their shooters on in penalty kicks. With both teams knotted at 5-5 in PKs, it came down to their eighth shots. Sophomore Cameron Beller got his goal for B.A., but Austin Campbell’s shot for the Pioneers hit the crossbar. It was over, and Tiger players and fans stormed the field.

 “I don’t know if there is enough to describe it,” Broken Arrow coach Shane Schwab says. “I’ve been in a lot of crazy soccer games. This is by far the most intense back-and-forth game I’ve been a part of. When it goes down to penalty kicks, it comes down to luck a little bit. It’s almost like flipping a coin, but for whatever reason, it was meant to be for us. Stillwater, it breaks my heart for them. They had an amazing year. They gave us everything they had, and we had to fight for it. That makes us feel even better because it is amazing to come back from a goal down and tie it and go to PKs.

“The intensity was off the charts. The atmosphere, both fans and the pressure made it exciting. The pressure at that point is on the shooter, not the goalkeeper. That’s why you see shooters miss, because really, you’re supposed to make all your penalty kicks.”

Schwab told his team at halftime, that when the game drew toward the end, particularly in the last 10 minutes, that they would need to put the ball in the box.

And they did with Meeks-Riner’s goal.

“I feel like I’m on top of the world right now,” Meeks-Riner says. “Since my freshman year, everybody told us that it is something that we couldn’t do. So just coming out here and playing our hearts out, that’s what we did. We got it. We got one back for the city.”

Looking back at the start of the season, Anderegg says he questioned things.

“At first I was a little doubtful,” he says. “I didn’t know how far we would make it. But then we started growing more team bonds and played together real well. As the season progressed, we started pulling it together and winning game after game. Then my eyes opened, and I thought ‘we actually have a chance this year.’”

They took advantage when they needed to the most.

“We worked so hard for this,” Meeks-Riner says. “And all these guys are special right here. All glory to God, my mom, my family and my coaches, and all my teammates for all the success we’ve had this year.”

“I can’t wait to see my state ring come in the mail,” Anderegg says.

Updated 06-01-2017

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