Mena, Arkansas – On a beautiful day for soccer, the Rich Mountain Bucks (2-13-3 overall; 2-9-3) faced Northern Oklahoma – Tonkawa (8-7-2 overall; 7-5-2) in their last match of the season. The match was deadlocked at 0-0 in the first half, but NOC put up 2 second half goals to seal the win.
In the first half, the Bucks were setup in a defensive position to try and fight off the NOC attack. For the most part, NOC controlled the half, but the Bucks' defense was strong and held the Mavericks scoreless. NOC would fire off 6 shots before the Bucks fired off their first. Keeper, Arcelia Marquez, denied 4 of the 6 shots for the Bucks. Fellow Texan, Inek Johnson, saved one of the other Maverick shots. Madison Zamudio tallied a mark in the offensive column for the Bucks with a shot in the 25th minute to counter the Mavericks' attack. Both teams would trade corner kicks and shots for the remainder of the half while holding each other scoreless.
To start the second half, NOC would try and do their damage off of a corner kick. The attempt was unsuccessful. After another NOC shot, Monica Boyes countered with a shot on a free kick that was saved by the Maverick keeper. NOC countered with another shot that was punched by Arcelia Marquez to save another goal. However, the save led to a corner kick for the Mavericks, and they were successful. Emma Peak (#18) served a great ball off the corner and found the head of #17 Sofie Joergensen for the first goal of the match. The Mavs wasted no time after the kickoff and went on attack again. Another corner kick was unsuccessful, but after both team trading fouls. NOC would fire another shot, and then connected on one in the 61st minute. Skylar Yocham (#10) found the back of the net on a nice cross by #2 Nancy Herr. NOC controlled the rest of the match with the Bucks only getting a corner kick and one shot for the remainder of the match. The Bucks would fall 2-0.
The Mavericks outshot the Bucks 18 to 5. Of the 5 Bucks shots, 3 were on frame. Arcelia Marquez had a busy afternoon with 8 saves. The Bucks mustered 2 corner kicks to the Mavericks 6.
The match wrapped up the season for the Bucks. Coach Brian Byrd focused on the positives after the game. "This time next year, we will be in a different situation. I only had 15 days to prepare the ladies for the season. Now, I get the entire off season to not only work with them as a team, but I get to spend some time with each one individually in the weight room and on the pitch. A great off season of workouts and recruitment will have this team in a different situation next year at this time."
The end of the season meant the end of a career for sophomore, Haley Castillo, in her only season with Bucks Soccer. Coach Byrd added this about Haley, "I wish every player I have/had would absorb as much as her. She may not be the most technical or skilled player I've ever coached. But, she is coachable, willing to learn, and applies it in practices and matches. Haley will be successful in whatever she does in life. We will definitely miss her."
The Bucks finished the season with 2 wins and 3 draws in Region II play. This was good enough for 7th overall in Region II.