Lady Bulldogs in the postseason

Ben Fuller, Staff writer

The Lady Bulldogs closed out the 2022 soccer season last Friday night with a loss to Norman North. The team was led by Head Coach Byron Gutierrez, along with assistant coaches Rachelle Lisle, Campbell Casillo and Tyler Shaw, Coach Gutierrez, lovingly referred to as “G” has coached the team for two years. 

The Lady Bulldogs finished the season with a 10-4 record and entered the postseason as the tenth seed. This was their second appearance in the playoffs in the last six years and the first time to win a playoff game after losing to Owasso in the first round the last time.

The 2022 playoffs began with a home game against the Westmoore Jaguars. The Lady Bulldogs took an early lead, scoring in the first few minutes of the game. They maintained that lead which gave them an advancement to the second round. 

On Friday night, the Bulldogs took on the reigning state champion Norman North in a hard fought battle. With a few minutes left in the first half, Norman North scored the opening goal. The team didn’t wait long to answer.

“We scored 15 seconds after Norman North’s opening goal,” Casillo said.

This was only the fourth goal that Norman North had allowed when playing other 6A schools this season and the first goal that was scored on their starting defense. 

Norman North dominated the second half of the game, scoring two more goals. One of the goals was from a penalty kick after a questionable call by the officials. The Lady Bulldogs rallied together after that third point, not allowing another score for the rest of the game. However, those two goals allowed Norman North to pull off the win.  

The team is already looking ahead to next season. Coach Gutierrez believes that the team will only be better with time.

“The foundation we built these last few years and the work we have put in from August through May is the foundation of how we can get better,” Gutierrez said,

 This year’s Senior Captains are Sklyar Franklin, Avery Baker and Layla Mayberry. Mayberry had some encouragement and motivation for the girls.

“Keep working hard and stay consistent through the summer and pre-season. Just take it seriously and actually lift and do the things you are supposed to do,” Mayberry said. 

Next year’s team will be losing four seniors, but will be filling those spots from a selection of talented junior varsity players who finished their season with an eight game winning streak. The future of Lady Bulldog soccer is looking bright.

Contact Benjamin Fuller at [email protected]