Buffs finish historic regular season as district runners-up

Apr. 19—With history already forged and more waiting to be written, the Buffs took to the field at Hook Eales Stadium with pride.

McAlester hosted Santa Fe South Friday at Hook Eales Stadium for the de-facto District 5A-1 championship game, where the Buffaloes fell to the Saints 5-0 to finish as district runners-up for the first time in program history.

Santa Fe wasted no time in getting the game started. The Saints immediately began taking shots, but were off target. Jaime Carranza took the ball up the field, but it was stolen by Santa Fe. The Saints then sent the ball into the back of the net, giving them the 1-0 lead with 34 minutes left in the first half.

Brandon McDaniel went to work stopping shot attempts from Santa Fe. Carranza, Jaime Fernandez, and Caleb Judkins took shots for McAlester, but were missed or blocked by the Saints. Santa Fe responded by taking shots of their own, another one eventually finding its way into the net, giving the Saints the 2-0 lead at halftime.

McAlester continued fighting for possession during the second half. Santa Fe kept pressure on the Buffaloes, both in offense and defense. Santa Fe managed three more goals against McAlester, increasing the Saint's lead 5-0.

Even through the efforts of McDaniel diving to block shots, Judkins shooting the ball, and the defense line's efforts, Santa Fe held off the Buffs for the win.

"We, as a team, think that we did not play to the best of our ability," coach Ra'Shaud Buie said after the game.

"We knew that we were going to have to win, and we just didn't. This is going to be a nice lesson for us with the playoffs starting, but at the same time, we finished second in districts — first time ever. We're the only sport this year that is going to be hosting a playoff game, so there's a lot to be proud of," he said.

The Buffaloes finished their regular season 10-5 with a district record of 6-1.

Up next, the Buffaloes host a playoff game for the first time in the MHS boys soccer program's history — with the first round scheduled for April 29.