Stillwater High boys and girls soccer teams drop home-openinig games to Bixby

Mar. 13—While a home-open loss could easily discourage a team, the Stillwater boys and girls soccer teams hope to use theirs to Bixby on Tuesday as motivation for the rest of the season.

The boys struggled to create offensive opportunities and failed to capitalize when they did in their 4-2 loss. Diego Ortega and Griffin Condley scored their goals off corner kicks.

"We lost the game in the first 12 minutes when we had three chances on frame and we didn't score any of them," boys coach Seth Condley said. "You got to put one of those to put (the game) away early against a good team."

The Pioneers (1-2) have given up seven goals in regulation and eight goals total in their losses, including a penalty kick on Tuesday.

The Spartans possessed the ball for a majority of the game.

"We got to figure something out defensively if we're going to be struggling all year long," Condley said. "And if we're giving up goals, we got to score."

Stillwater has another home game on Friday against Hilldale. There was a modest crowd on Tuesday, and the teams hope to grow attendance throughout the year.

The Stillwater Cup on March 28-30 is a tentpole event for the programs, and both coaches said winning it is a big priority.

"The first goal is to protect your home, which we did not do tonight. Then, you need to win Stillwater Cup," Condley said. 'Then, you're trying to find your way to get in the playoffs. There's so many good teams in 6A — to get back in the playoffs in back-to-back years would be really nice for this group of boys."

Stillwater won the 2023 District Championship, but ended up finishing third from tie-breakers. The Pioneers won their first playoff game on the road against Owasso, then lost to the eventual state champion Jenks.

"We're close," Condley said. "It's a good group of boys."

The Lady Pioneers (1-2) were in a scoreless game with Bixby in the first half until all three goals in their 2-1 loss were scored from the 56th to the 68th minute. Karsen Cox scored for the Lady Pioneers.

Unlike Condley, girls coach Tanner Rivera had a "glass half full" mentality after the game because the team showed a lot of positive signs.

"(The Lady Spartans are) easily top 10 in the state, and we battled right with them," Rivera said. "That's what I'm going to share with the girls. This is good, overall."

The second-year coach is coming off a rookie season in which the team went 4-11-1 and was outscored 42-13.

"Last year was a little rough, but we played well," Rivera said. "It was a good learning year for us. We had a lot of young players."

This year's team has playoff hopes. It's a small sample size, but the girls look ready to compete at the 6A level as they did not let Bixby push them around.

"I love playing physical games because my girls step up to it," Rivera said. "These girls are different."

For Rivera, the proof is in the offense. The team has been practicing its offensive sets, and it has scored more than half as many goals as it did all last season.

"It's showing in the games," Rivera said. "Our attacks have been way more threatening than they were a year ago."

The varsity girls will host Hilldale on Friday at 5:30 p.m., and the boys will play at 7:30 p.m.