Claremore junior midfielder Bailey Bacon sizzled in the final nine minutes of Tuesday’s showdown with Cascia Hall.
Bacon tallied a pair of goals within a two-minute stretch as the Class 5A No. 1-ranked Lady Zebras blanked No. 10 Cascia Hall, 2-0 in Metro Lakes Conference action at Lantow Field.
The shutout over Cascia Hall improved the Lady Zebras to 6-1 on the season. Cascia Hall, meanwhile, dropped to 2-2 on the year.
Tuesday’s showdown can best be described as ‘A Tale of Two Halves’ with Cascia Hall controlling the tempo of the game early on and Claremore heating up late.
Cascia Hall — led by former Lady Zebra forward Carlie Cook — applied offensive pressure during the early stages of the first half.
Cook fired a pair of shots toward the Claremore goal, but Lady Zebra keeper Brylee Brasher maintained her ground in the box and deflected both shots.
Adding fuel to the fire, Cook found it difficult to get by Claremore defenders Jentry Cruce, Anna McGuire and Chandler Payne.
The Lady Zebra trio put up a strong front and limited the number of open looks for Cook and the Cascia Hall offense.
Claremore, under the leadership of veteran coach Robin Sutherland, overtook the tempo of the game after halftime and stayed on Cascia Hall’s side of the field for the majority of the second half.
Deadlocked at 0-0, Claremore senior forward Cailin Caldwell looked to put the Lady Zebras ahead but her 15-yard shot sailed right of the goal.
Moments later, Caldwell and junior midfielder Katelin Teter worked together for another scoring opportunity but Teter’s shot soared over the top of the goal.
With Claremore’s offense heating up, the third time proved to be the charm at the nine-minute mark.
Claremore freshman forward Bailey Steckline pushed the ball up the right sideline and fired a shot toward the left-corner of the goal.
Steckline’s shot deflected off the hands of the Cascia Hall keeper and Bacon pushed the ball in with her left foot to put the Lady Zebras up 1-0.
On the ensuing change of momentum, Cascia Hall’s Cook got a breakaway toward Claremore keeper (Brylee) Brasher, but McGuire’s defensive pressure altered Cook’s shot wide-right.
Claremore — with seven minutes remaining in the game — extended its lead to 2-0 on Bacon’s header off the corner kick attempt from sophomore forward Taylor Williams.
Setting up on the right side of the field, Williams blasted the corner kick toward the left-side of the goal, leaving Bacon with a perfect opportunity for the header.
Claremore, who is perfect against Oklahoma teams at 6-0, returns to action at 6 p.m. on Friday at East Central.