Note: Team Record: W-L-T
What?: 2nd Round of the MHSAA 5A Girls Soccer Playoffs
Where?: New Hope High School Soccer Field (Directions? Go to the bottom of this article for directions to the Field)
When?: Saturday, February 1st, 2013 @ 1:00 PM
How can you keep up?: OxChargerSports Twitter Account, Play-by-Play via the iScore Soccer app website @ soccer.iscorecast.com and enter the ID# 7DF28156B0 and then find "New Hope / (Girls) Oxford" game. (A link will be tweeted at the start of the game).
The Lowdown: The Oxford Lady Chargers have been playing very well lately dominating possession in each of their last 4 games, going all the way back to the Saltillo game. They have outshot their opponents by a combined 109-15 over the last four games. Oxford defeated Center Hill 3-1 in its first round matchup and outshot the Mustangs 24-5.
The New Hope Lady Trojans are coming off a big come-from-behind win just to reach this game. They trailed host Vicksburg 4-1 at one point in the 2nd Half and rallied for 4 unanswered goals to win 5-4. They are hosting despite being the lower seed due to not having hosted the last game and Oxford did host its first round game.
Oxford played New Hope last year and were originally on the regular season schedule at New Hope but was cancelled due to an unknown reason. Oxford lost 2-0 at home last year but was part of the 2nd game of a Double-Header after Oxford had played crosstown rival Lafayette a couple hours previous. Fatigue may have played a factor in the loss as New Hope came in playing fresh.
New Hope plays a lot of good defense. Entering the playoffs, they had averaged giving up just a little more than 1 goal a game (of their 14 goals they gave up, 9 was to Germantown over two games - who sits on the other side of the bracket with Lewisburg). They have posted 5 shutouts on the year. They did give up 4 goals last game, but stiffened up to post the rally that they did and get to this game.
The Lady Trojans aren't just known for their defense, they have a solid offense as well averaging 5 goals a game - granted they played bad teams like West Point and Columbus to help boost that stat but it does show that they can score - or otherwise they would not have came back on Vicksburg.
This should stand to be a very good soccer game on hand. I just sure hope the typical biasness from New Hope area referees do not get in the way. Although from being a soccer referee and known referees in that area, I really don't think that should be a problem (and it never should be).
For Oxford to Win, They Must: Finish Shots - I have said Oxford outshot its opponent 109-15 in the last four games. In two of the last four, it was 52-11. However the Lady Chargers have only scored 3 goals in their last 52 shots, while the opponents have scored twice in just 11 shots. Oxford has to start finishing or their season is the one that will finish.
Don't Allow Mistakes on Defense - By that, don't allow a counter attack to score. On "Fast-break" chances is where Oxford has been hurt. If Oxford's Defense is allowed to set up, scoring will be very hard for the Lady Trojans.
For New Hope to Win, They Must: Use Team Speed up Front - New Hope can hurt Oxford on a fast counterattack. Oxford has only allowed 11 shots - but around half have been on a counterattack, like a fast-break in Basketball. Both goals allowed in the last two games for Oxford have come that way.
Play Solid D - Oxford has a solid midfield that allows to keep the ball on the offensive end. The New Hope Defensive Line needs to hold strong in this game. Oxford will find their shots, it will be just a matter of if they can keep the Lady Chargers from popping their net all day.
Other Notes: If Oxford wins, they will host North Half regardless of the Germantown/Lewisburg outcome. The Lady Chargers are looking to host North Half for just the second time in school history.
Directions: From Oxford, take Miss-6/US-278 for 23 Miles. Turn Right onto old-Hwy-6 (Miss-338) towards West Pontotoc for 6 1/2 Miles. Stay Straight at the 4-Way Stop to Spur St for 1/4 Mile. Turn Right to Miss-15 South for 2 Miles. Stay Straight at the 4-Way Stop to Miss-41 South towards Okolona for 22 Miles. Turn Left at the Stop Sign to W. Monroe Ave. (MS-41 South) for 1/4 Mile. Turn Right at the 4-Way to Miss-245 South for 5 Miles. Turn Right at the end of the road to US-45 ALT South towards West Point for 31 Miles. Turn Left to US-82 East towards Columbus for 23 Miles. Take Exit for New Hope (If you go into Alabama, you've gone too far), and then turn right to Stokes Rd for 1/4 Mile. Turn Right at the Stop Sign onto Miss-182 West for 2 Miles. At the 4-Way Stop, turn left to New Hope Rd. for 3 1/2 Miles. Arrive at New Hope High School (Turn Left and go to the back of the school to find the soccer field). (119 Total Miles)