INOLA — If recent results are any indication, the Verdigris girls’ soccer team appears quite capable of earning a second-straight state title.
That’s not good news for the remainder of this year’s Class 4A field.
Buoyed by four goals from Lauren Bulcroft and two more by Aubrey Lechlider, the Lady Cardinals overwhelmed host Inola, 10-0, in a mercy rule District 4A-5 match Friday afternoon.
The victory for Verdigris (8-5) extended the team’s winning streak to six matches—all coming by shutouts.
In addition, the Lady Cardinals stayed perfect in district play with a 7-0 mark ensuring no worse than a tie for the district crown.
In its seven district matches, Verdigris (8-5) has now outscored opponents 49-0.
“We are working really well as a team,” Lady Cardinals coach Stacia Risenhoover said. “We are beginning to click together with better passes.”
Both Bulcroft, a sophomore, and Lechlider, a senior, were the beneficiaries of the Cardinals’ better passing against the Lady Longhorns (3-8, 3-3).
Bulcroft had three of her team’s six goals in the first half, reaching the back of the net for an even-numbered goal each time.
“Lauren played great,” Risenhoover said of her talented forward.
“She is really improving. She works hard when she is on the field.”
Bulcroft notched an assist on a goal by Madison Adams to open the second half then capped her day with her fourth goal when she rolled a shot by Inola’s goalkeeper in the ninth minute of the half.
The four goals were just one shy of her career-best.
Bulcroft credited her teammates for their unselfishness in helping her to a big scoring day.
“I could not have done it without them,” she said.
Meanwhile, Lechlider tallied a goal in the first half following a throw-in by Faith Weiesnbach to make it 5-0 then added an assist on Bulcroft’s final goal of the period to give the Lady Cardinals a six-goal cushion at halftime.
Lechlider, a forward, recorded her other goal on a breakaway midway through the second half to push Verdigris’ lead to 9-0.
Teammate Maribel Shaddix, a freshman, ended the match a few minutes later with a goal from 18 yards out from the right wing.
Shaddix is one of seven freshmen on the roster helping contribute to the Lady Cardinals’ success this season.
“We have a bunch of freshmen who have been working really hard,” Bulcroft said.
Also scoring goals for Verdigris against Inola were junior midfielders Kayla Darden and Abigail Teal. Teal notched a first-half goal off her corner kick and set up another goal in the opening period via another corner kick.
With its sixth straight shutout, Verdigris has not allowed a goal since March 28 in a 3-1 setback to Class 6A Enid at the Stillwater Cup.
The Cardinals will end district play with a road match Tuesday against Catoosa.