Behind Grace Freeman’s four goals, the Oxford Lady Chargers made easy work of the Starkville Lady Jackets 6-0 in the first round of the MHSAA Class 6A Playoffs Monday Night at Bobby Holcomb Field.
Freeman got on the stat sheet early on not with a goal, but with an assist to Emma Reeder in the 7th minute to give Oxford (17-1-1 overall) an early 1-0 lead.
After a foul gave Oxford a free kick 20 yards from goal, Freeman used her normally weaker left foot to take the shot and placed it perfectly past the wall and under the crossbar to give the Lady Chargers a 2-0 lead in the 12th Minute over Starkville (7-6-1). It was a much better start than the first time Oxford played Starkville where even though the Lady Chargers came out on top 6-2, Oxford coach Hunter Crane wanted to see a better performance Monday night.
“The girls brought it from the opening whistle and that’s what we wanted to see,” Crane said. “We came out a little sloppy (in the regular season meeting against Starkville) in the sixth game of the year when the back line was still pretty new and did some things that wasn’t typically us.
Freeman scored her second goal after a rainbow 40-yard pass from Molly Swingle found the feet of Freeman who put the ball in the net from close range to give Oxford a 3-0 lead in the 27th Minute, a lead the Lady Chargers would take into halftime.
Freeman added goals in the 46th and 64th Minute before checking out of the match in the 69th Minute. Carissa Strum tacked on a rocket goal in the 76th Minute to cap the scoring.
“When you get her out in space and around the net, she does pretty special things with the ball,” Crane said of Freeman.
Oxford out-shot Starkville 18-7 and had 13 shots on goal to Starkville’s four. The four saves for Oxford goalkeeper Mary Anna Fulton brings her two shy from breaking the career school record.
Oxford advances to the second round of the playoffs where they will travel to the winner of the Clinton-Lewisburg match on Saturday. Clinton and Lewisburg will play Tuesday night in Clinton.