What?: Second Round of the 5A Girls Soccer Playoffs
Where?: Bobby Holcomb Field
When?: Saturday, January 30th at 5:00 PM
How can you keep yourself updated?: John Davis on Twitter @oxfordcitizenjd
The Lowdown: I said during the Dandy Dozen reveal on this site that under new head coach Hunter Crane that Oxford should be better on offense than they were under defensive-minded coach Laura Flint.
Result? Oxford has not been shutout this year, not one single time.
The Oxford Lady Chargers have scored at least one goal in every single game this season. Even in the five losses Oxford has taken, at least one goal was scored. Oxford had a streak of 240+ minutes in the playoffs without scoring a goal prior to the Vicksburg game. Needless to say after the 9-0 win that it didn't take long to break that streak.
This team has finally learned how to score, something that prevented this team from advancing in the playoffs the past few years. With the defense they still own - they have allowed just 16 goals in 22 games this season, that includes two games against the state's top goal scorer at their place no less - and the offense this team possesses having scored 112 goals this season (Oxford scored 100 goals in the last two seasons COMBINED), this is a team that will seriously threaten 5A.
The defending 5A North Half Champion Lady Mavericks will have something to say about that first.
It is worth noting that Oxford DOMINATED the match last year against Germantown, having tripled the shots taken than the Lady Mavericks did throughout the contest held in Germantown last year and was on the Lady Maverick end of the field the majority of the match. The inability for Oxford to score was the lone cause for Oxford not winning that match last year as they went down in penalty kicks. Germantown did not show much offense in that game.
This is a different matchup than last year. Germantown did not look that impressive in the one game I saw them. They are 15-1 yes, but they are not that good on offense scoring under three goals a game, and Oxford defended Germantown to a shutout for 110 minutes the last time they played the Lady Mavericks. This is a rare good record that is quite deceiving to their glaring weakness. When Germantown has faced good offensive teams, they have allowed goals. Couple it with a good defense as well, they will have issues.
Oxford's defense is just as if not better than Germantown's. Oxford's offense is much better than Germantown's this year. The focus of this match will be can Germantown keep Oxford out of the goal THIS time. I have my doubts with this game squarely on the Lady Chargers' minds after what happened last year.
For Oxford to Win, They Must: Attack, Attack, Attack - If Oxford stays on Germantown's end this year, this will have a much different result. Oxford has a lot more confidence on offense than they have in the last few years. Goals have come a lot more easily.
Stay a Stone Wall on Defense - One thing that has carried over is their defensive intensity when on Oxford's side of the field. Germantown won't have an easy time scoring against this defense.
+For Germantown to Win, They Must: Find a Way to Score - One thing the Lady Mavericks have done is win over and over. They know how to win a close game. But they...
Can't Pull A Madison Central - Their one defeat was a 3-0 loss to Madison Central. They are excellent on offense and defense, like this Oxford team has turned into this year. They must keep Oxford out of the goal to have any chance at winning.
Other Notes: Oxford currently has a 312-minute long playoff streak without allowing a playoff goal (their last such allowed goal came in the first round against Center Hill in the 68th minute two years ago in a win). During the course of that streak, Oxford has lost two playoff games in a penalty kick shootout after going to a 0-0 tie in regulation and overtime against New Hope two years ago and against this very Germantown team last year. Oxford currently has a six-match shutout streak dating back to the regular season as well. If Oxford wins, they will host North Half regardless of opponent.